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Towards Zero Suicide: Preventing Suicide, Saving Lives

Alice OatesAlice Oates

News, presentations and updates from today's Zero Suicide conference. 

Learning from Suicide Related Claims
Dr Alice Oates,
Clinical Fellow in Mental Health & Author, Learning from Suicide Related Claims Review, NHS Resolution
Dr Alice Oates graduated from the University of Sheffield with a medical degree and a BMedSci in 2011. After two years as a foundation doctor in Liverpool, she was successful in competing for an Academic Clinical Fellowship in General Adult Psychiatry within South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. During her fellowship she conducted research into decision making under stress in borderline personality disorder.
Alice was working as a Clinical Fellow with NHS Resolution, this one year secondment was based within the Safety and Learning team and finished in September 2018. She worked with others across the health care system supporting a Mental Health project that examined and extrapolated the learning from inquests relating to suicides across England. The findings were published a national report this Autumn to share the findings and learning from this work, the full report is available on

Key points from Alice's presentation:

- How do we learn from suicide related claims?
- Just for those of you that do not know NHS Resolution is the rebrand of the NHS Litigation Authority
- We use the information gathered from routine work to improve services & make sure the public get the best value for money from the NHS
- Suicide claims are some of the most emotive claims
- You can use clinical negligence claims as you get a broad spectrum of information
- I think it's fair to say that some trusts have better PR than others (Alice referred to 'Academy of Fabulous Stuff' from NHS Improvement)
- NHS Resolution is not a patient safety body, it never could be but it does work very closely with others
- The legal standard of proof changed in July this year for suicide.  This will lead to an increase of Inquest conclusions of suicide
- Duty of Candour is a phrase that gets used a lot in investigations
- Alice highlighted NHS Mersey Care and it's shift from 'blame culture' to 'adjust & restorative culture' as an example of good practice
Full PowerPoint Presentation

How A UK Suicide Crisis Centre Has Achieved Zero Suicide
Joy Hibbins,
Founder and CEO, Suicide Crisis
Pre Event Abstract
In her presentation, Joy will explain why and how she set up the Suicide Crisis Centre, and how their services work.
Joy will show how her lived experience impacted upon the ethos, approach and methods used at the Centre. She will also explain how their clients influenced the development of services in the first few weeks. They showed very clearly how the service needed to be modified and that additional services would be needed.
The charity Suicide Crisis has been providing services for over five years and there has never been a suicide of a client under their care, whether they have been under their care for a period of days, weeks or months.
They have identified many reasons why all their clients survive, and Joy will share these during her presentation.
She will explain that the particular way their services are set up places a “safety net” around clients, and that their ethos and approach enables clients to engage with them, even if they have found it difficult to engage with other services.
Suicide Crisis provides a combination of Suicide Crisis Centre, home visits and emergency phone lines for their clients. The team is responding to situations of immediate risk as well as providing ongoing crisis support. If a client is in crisis, they may be too distressed or too unwell to reach the Crisis Centre, and that is why home visits have become a vital part of their work. The service operates 24 hours, 365 days of the year.
A high proportion of their clients are men and Joy explains some of the reasons why men feel able to access their service and why they say they felt unable to access other services.  
In recent months a high percentage of their clients are under secondary mental health services. 
Joy will explain the vital role which psychiatrists and other NHS clinicians have in the charity and how they act as clinical advisers and are also involved in the training of staff.

Key points from Joy's presentation:

- Joy talked of setting up her suicide crisis centre  & trauma centre in the Autumn of 2013 which was seen initially as a very ambitious for a mental health service user.
- We are not a drop in centre, the idea of being in a waiting area would rule out some from going in, especially men, also police officers, people who do not want to be recognised.
- Joy spoke of the many reasons why their clients survive, highlighting the flexibility of their support, including home visits. 
- Our service has evolved to meet the client needs
- A caring & kind approach can break through barriers but we still act in a professional way by keeping the boundaries with our patients
- When we started we had a high number of men which we didn't expert.  Joy then sighted the many reasons why including keeping their independence & concerns about having their suicidal crisis documented in their medical records.
- We don't provide a helpline for the general public, there are others doing that brilliantly
Full PowerPoint Presentation

Building Suicide Safer Universities
Nina Clarke,
Deputy CEO and National Prograamme Manager, Papyrus
Pre Event Abstract
At least 95 university students took their own lives in 2016-17.
In response to this, PAPYRUS and Universities UK have co-developed a guide for Universities. 
The guide provides a framework to understand student suicide, mitigate risk, intervene when students get into difficulties, and respond to these tragic deaths.
It sets out the steps a university can take to make their community suicide-safer.
This presentation explores the key components of the guide, including examples of good practice at specific institutions which help them become suicide safer communities.
Full PowerPoint Presentation

Related Events

Decision Making and Mental Capacity: Implementing the 2018 NICE Guidance
Monday 14 January 2019, London

Adult Safeguarding in Hospitals: Improving Adult Safeguarding Practice
Friday 18 January 2019, London

Preventing Suicide in Young People & Children
Friday 1 February 2019, London

Reducing and improving the use of Restrictive Interventions & Practice
Monday 4 February 2019, London

Improving Mental Health Crisis Care
Friday 15 March 2019, London

14 December 2018


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