News

27.08.14

Self-harm attempts by mental health patients in NHS on rise – Labour

The number of patients self-harming and attempting suicide in NHS mental health units has increased significantly in recent years, new figures suggest.

Data, disclosed by mental health trusts in response to a Labour Party Freedom of Information request, reveal the number of such incidents at 29 of England's 52 NHS mental health trusts rose 56% from 14,815 in 2010 to 23,053 in 2013.

Luciana Berger MP, Labour’s shadow minister for Public Health, said: “This increase in self-harm and suicide attempts on NHS wards is deeply concerning.

“Mental health services have been squeezed year on year, the number of specialist doctors and nurses has dropped and there aren’t enough beds to meet demand. The pressure this is putting on mental health wards is intolerable.”

However, Professor Sir Simon Wessely, the new president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, does not believe the conclusions put forward by Labour, and said that increases were seen because of better reporting since Robert Francis's report into the Mid Staffs hospital scandal in early 2013.

"The concerns about [lack of] funding are genuine and the concerns about staffing are genuine, but I just don't think we can link that to deliberate self-harm,” said Prof Wessely.

But Mark Winstanley, chief executive of the charity Rethink Mental Illness, believes the figures highlight the marked deterioration of mental health services.

A Department of Health spokesperson told NHE: “We are determined to make sure that mental health services across the country give consistently high-quality care. Self-harm is a sign of serious emotional distress and it is crucial that people receive the support they need to address the underlying issues. 

“The Mental Health Action plan outlines our priorities for improving care. For the first time, we are establishing clear waiting time limits for mental health services. New CQC inspections will also identify poor quality services quicker and ensure that action is taken to improve them. Through the Crisis Care Concordat we are also working across health, care and policing to make it clear that everyone experiencing a mental health crisis should receive the help they need.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@nationalhealthexecutive.com

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest news

View all News

comment

NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental ... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >

editor's comment

26/06/2020Adapting and Innovating

Matt Roberts, National Health Executive Editorial Lead. NHE May/June 2020 Edition We’ve been through so much as a health sector and a society in recent months with coronavirus and nothing can take away from the loss and difficulties that we’ve faced but it vital we also don’t disregard the amazing efforts we’ve witnessed. Staff have gone above and beyond, whole hospitals and trusts have flexed virtually at will to meet demand and pressures and we’ve... read more >

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us throu more > more last word articles >

interviews

Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

24/10/2019Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

Today, speaking at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) annual... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Calling the NHS a ‘Covid-only service’ is untrue, unfair and potentially dangerous

12/08/2020Calling the NHS a ‘Covid-only service’ is untrue, unfair and potentially dangerous

Chris Hopson, Chief Executive, NHS Providers Last week the NHS was widely described as providing a ‘Covid-19 only’ service for much of the last few months. Fr... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

healthcare events

events calendar

back

August 2020

forward
mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 1 2 3 4 5 6

featured articles

View all News