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Suicide prevention checklist for secure services launched

10 Sep 2014

A new suicide prevention audit for secure services, which has been developed by clinicians at Broadmoor Hospital, is being launched during World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September).

Its aim is to ensure risks of suicide in secure hospital settings and post discharge are reduced as much as possible. Clinicians at Broadmoor have been piloting the checklist over the past six months to test its effectiveness.

The checklist is an adapted version of the previously produced ‘preventing suicide audit tool’ (National Patient Safety Agency 2003). It contains a series of questions for clinicians to consider relating to patient records, observation and engagement and carer involvement.

John Carthy, interim deputy director of nursing in the trust’s west London forensic services, explained: “We have identified that ward and hospital changes, clinical team changes and the start of index related therapy are high risk care pathway transition points within high and medium secure services. Through our work, these transition points have been identified as contributory factors for increased risk of suicidality.”

John added: “Their inclusion in the secure version of this ward manager checklist will provide an opportunity for clinical teams to review individual patient safety and risk plans relating to these critical points of care pathway transition.”

According to recent data published by National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness, mental health patients are at their highest risk of dying by suicide in the first two weeks after leaving hospital. Around 3,225 patients died by suicide in the UK within the first three months of their discharge from hospital between 2002 and 2012.

Contact details: Simon Morgan, head of eernal communications, 020 8354 8325 or email simon.morgan@wlmht.nhs.uk