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21 Feb 2020

Treatment lottery for self-harming and suicidal patients

Lives are at risk because of the treatment lottery facing self-harming and suicidal patients, according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

It is calling for every acute hospital to provide NICE recommended psychosocial assessments and for closer working between hospitals and community mental health teams after treatment. 

Marjorie Wallace, Chief Executive of SANE, comments on the press release by the Royal College of Psychiatrists on self-harming patients:

“We are experiencing an epidemic of self-harm and suicidal behaviour, with many people either waiting too long for treatment or unable to access any help at all.

“At SANE we have been warning for years of increasing numbers of young people who harm themselves, as well as the worsening extent of the injuries that they inflict.

“Our concern is not just the assessment but that when people have been judged as being at risk of self-harm or suicide, they have been sent home from A&E and left to wait days for overburdened community teams to visit, if at all. During this period, we know of people who have gone on to take their own lives.

“We believe that urgent action is needed to ensure that not only do patients have safety plans but that when they reach crisis point, they can be taken into suitable units for assessment and protection.”

End the treatment lottery putting the lives of self-harming patients at risk – Royal College of Psychiatrists


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