Tag Archives: urges

Hunt urges NHS mental health units to prevent inpatient suicides

Health secretary to tell trusts that scores of suicides on NHS wards are due to ‘failure of care’

Jeremy Hunt


Jeremy Hunt: ‘The uncomfortable truth is that every NHS inpatient’s suicide is a potential failure of care.’ Photograph: Neil Hall/PA

Jeremy Hunt is urging mental health units to prevent the scores of suicides by patients that occur on wards every year, which he says are due to failings of care by NHS providers.

The health and social care secretary wants to cut the number of inpatients taking their own life on NHS premises from more than 80 to none.

In a speech on Wednesday Hunt will tell specialist mental health trusts to “leave no stone unturned” in a quest to play their part in reducing the suicide rate.

“The UK has one of the lowest suicide rates in Europe, not least thanks to some very good NHS care. But the uncomfortable truth is that every NHS inpatient’s suicide is a potential failure of care,” Hunt will say at a National Suicide Prevention Alliance event.

“If we want to offer the highest standards of mental health provision we should recognise that the causes of an inpatient suicide may be systemic but are never inevitable.

“Every single such death causes untold misery to families and also to NHS staff, so it is right to set our sights high and aim for nothing less than zero inpatient suicides,” he will add.

However, Hunt will not promise any new measures to tackle the often-chronic understaffing of NHS mental health units, some of which rely heavily on agency staff to plug vacancies for nurses and doctors.

Between 81 and 91 suicides occurred in NHS mental health units each year between 2012 and 2015, including 81 in 2015. But that is far fewer than the 153 in 2005. Major progress on patient safety has significantly reduced such deaths.

Hunt wants units to improve observation of patients deemed a potential suicide risk, improve the risk assessment element of patients’ personal care plans and also do more to reduce the opportunities for inpatients to take their own lives – for example, by removing ligature points.

Hunt’s initiative is inspired by a similar drive towards zero mental health inpatient suicides involving hospitals, clinics and emergency departments in the US city of Detroit in the late 1990s. The NHS in Merseyside and in the east and south-west of England have begun schemes to reach the zero target that Hunt wants all trusts to have as an ambition.

Vicki Nash, head of policy and campaigns at the mental health charity Mind, said it backed Hunt’s move.

“Suicides are not inevitable – they can be prevented with the right support in place. Nobody who is in touch with services, asking for help, should reach the point of taking their own life. This includes if someone is at their most vulnerable and in hospital for their mental health.

“Trusts need to make sure people receive a high standard of treatment in a safe and therapeutic environment,” she said. “Too many families lose loved ones to suicide every year and in so many cases such tragedies can be prevented.”

In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. Hotlines in other countries can be found here.

Hunt urges NHS mental health units to prevent inpatient suicides

Health secretary to tell trusts that scores of suicides on NHS wards are due to ‘failure of care’

Jeremy Hunt


Jeremy Hunt: ‘The uncomfortable truth is that every NHS inpatient’s suicide is a potential failure of care.’ Photograph: Neil Hall/PA

Jeremy Hunt is urging mental health units to prevent the scores of suicides by patients that occur on wards every year, which he says are due to failings of care by NHS providers.

The health and social care secretary wants to cut the number of inpatients taking their own life on NHS premises from more than 80 to none.

In a speech on Wednesday Hunt will tell specialist mental health trusts to “leave no stone unturned” in a quest to play their part in reducing the suicide rate.

“The UK has one of the lowest suicide rates in Europe, not least thanks to some very good NHS care. But the uncomfortable truth is that every NHS inpatient’s suicide is a potential failure of care,” Hunt will say at a National Suicide Prevention Alliance event.

“If we want to offer the highest standards of mental health provision we should recognise that the causes of an inpatient suicide may be systemic but are never inevitable.

“Every single such death causes untold misery to families and also to NHS staff, so it is right to set our sights high and aim for nothing less than zero inpatient suicides,” he will add.

However, Hunt will not promise any new measures to tackle the often-chronic understaffing of NHS mental health units, some of which rely heavily on agency staff to plug vacancies for nurses and doctors.

Between 81 and 91 suicides occurred in NHS mental health units each year between 2012 and 2015, including 81 in 2015. But that is far fewer than the 153 in 2005. Major progress on patient safety has significantly reduced such deaths.

Hunt wants units to improve observation of patients deemed a potential suicide risk, improve the risk assessment element of patients’ personal care plans and also do more to reduce the opportunities for inpatients to take their own lives – for example, by removing ligature points.

Hunt’s initiative is inspired by a similar drive towards zero mental health inpatient suicides involving hospitals, clinics and emergency departments in the US city of Detroit in the late 1990s. The NHS in Merseyside and in the east and south-west of England have begun schemes to reach the zero target that Hunt wants all trusts to have as an ambition.

Vicki Nash, head of policy and campaigns at the mental health charity Mind, said it backed Hunt’s move.

“Suicides are not inevitable – they can be prevented with the right support in place. Nobody who is in touch with services, asking for help, should reach the point of taking their own life. This includes if someone is at their most vulnerable and in hospital for their mental health.

“Trusts need to make sure people receive a high standard of treatment in a safe and therapeutic environment,” she said. “Too many families lose loved ones to suicide every year and in so many cases such tragedies can be prevented.”

In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. Hotlines in other countries can be found here.

Hunt urges NHS mental health units to prevent inpatient suicides

Health secretary to tell trusts that scores of suicides on NHS wards are due to ‘failure of care’

Jeremy Hunt


Jeremy Hunt: ‘The uncomfortable truth is that every NHS inpatient’s suicide is a potential failure of care.’ Photograph: Neil Hall/PA

Jeremy Hunt is urging mental health units to prevent the scores of suicides by patients that occur on wards every year, which he says are due to failings of care by NHS providers.

The health and social care secretary wants to cut the number of inpatients taking their own life on NHS premises from more than 80 to none.

In a speech on Wednesday Hunt will tell specialist mental health trusts to “leave no stone unturned” in a quest to play their part in reducing the suicide rate.

“The UK has one of the lowest suicide rates in Europe, not least thanks to some very good NHS care. But the uncomfortable truth is that every NHS inpatient’s suicide is a potential failure of care,” Hunt will say at a National Suicide Prevention Alliance event.

“If we want to offer the highest standards of mental health provision we should recognise that the causes of an inpatient suicide may be systemic but are never inevitable.

“Every single such death causes untold misery to families and also to NHS staff, so it is right to set our sights high and aim for nothing less than zero inpatient suicides,” he will add.

However, Hunt will not promise any new measures to tackle the often-chronic understaffing of NHS mental health units, some of which rely heavily on agency staff to plug vacancies for nurses and doctors.

Between 81 and 91 suicides occurred in NHS mental health units each year between 2012 and 2015, including 81 in 2015. But that is far fewer than the 153 in 2005. Major progress on patient safety has significantly reduced such deaths.

Hunt wants units to improve observation of patients deemed a potential suicide risk, improve the risk assessment element of patients’ personal care plans and also do more to reduce the opportunities for inpatients to take their own lives – for example, by removing ligature points.

Hunt’s initiative is inspired by a similar drive towards zero mental health inpatient suicides involving hospitals, clinics and emergency departments in the US city of Detroit in the late 1990s. The NHS in Merseyside and in the east and south-west of England have begun schemes to reach the zero target that Hunt wants all trusts to have as an ambition.

Vicki Nash, head of policy and campaigns at the mental health charity Mind, said it backed Hunt’s move.

“Suicides are not inevitable – they can be prevented with the right support in place. Nobody who is in touch with services, asking for help, should reach the point of taking their own life. This includes if someone is at their most vulnerable and in hospital for their mental health.

“Trusts need to make sure people receive a high standard of treatment in a safe and therapeutic environment,” she said. “Too many families lose loved ones to suicide every year and in so many cases such tragedies can be prevented.”

In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. Hotlines in other countries can be found here.

Hunt urges NHS mental health units to prevent inpatient suicides

Health secretary to tell trusts that scores of suicides on NHS wards are due to ‘failure of care’

Jeremy Hunt


Jeremy Hunt: ‘The uncomfortable truth is that every NHS inpatient’s suicide is a potential failure of care.’ Photograph: Neil Hall/PA

Jeremy Hunt is urging mental health units to prevent the scores of suicides by patients that occur on wards every year, which he says are due to failings of care by NHS providers.

The health and social care secretary wants to cut the number of inpatients taking their own life on NHS premises from more than 80 to none.

In a speech on Wednesday Hunt will tell specialist mental health trusts to “leave no stone unturned” in a quest to play their part in reducing the suicide rate.

“The UK has one of the lowest suicide rates in Europe, not least thanks to some very good NHS care. But the uncomfortable truth is that every NHS inpatient’s suicide is a potential failure of care,” Hunt will say at a National Suicide Prevention Alliance event.

“If we want to offer the highest standards of mental health provision we should recognise that the causes of an inpatient suicide may be systemic but are never inevitable.

“Every single such death causes untold misery to families and also to NHS staff, so it is right to set our sights high and aim for nothing less than zero inpatient suicides,” he will add.

However, Hunt will not promise any new measures to tackle the often-chronic understaffing of NHS mental health units, some of which rely heavily on agency staff to plug vacancies for nurses and doctors.

Between 81 and 91 suicides occurred in NHS mental health units each year between 2012 and 2015, including 81 in 2015. But that is far fewer than the 153 in 2005. Major progress on patient safety has significantly reduced such deaths.

Hunt wants units to improve observation of patients deemed a potential suicide risk, improve the risk assessment element of patients’ personal care plans and also do more to reduce the opportunities for inpatients to take their own lives – for example, by removing ligature points.

Hunt’s initiative is inspired by a similar drive towards zero mental health inpatient suicides involving hospitals, clinics and emergency departments in the US city of Detroit in the late 1990s. The NHS in Merseyside and in the east and south-west of England have begun schemes to reach the zero target that Hunt wants all trusts to have as an ambition.

Vicki Nash, head of policy and campaigns at the mental health charity Mind, said it backed Hunt’s move.

“Suicides are not inevitable – they can be prevented with the right support in place. Nobody who is in touch with services, asking for help, should reach the point of taking their own life. This includes if someone is at their most vulnerable and in hospital for their mental health.

“Trusts need to make sure people receive a high standard of treatment in a safe and therapeutic environment,” she said. “Too many families lose loved ones to suicide every year and in so many cases such tragedies can be prevented.”

In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. Hotlines in other countries can be found here.

Hunt urges NHS mental health units to prevent inpatient suicides

Health secretary to tell trusts that scores of suicides on NHS wards are due to ‘failure of care’

Jeremy Hunt


Jeremy Hunt: ‘The uncomfortable truth is that every NHS inpatient’s suicide is a potential failure of care.’ Photograph: Neil Hall/PA

Jeremy Hunt is urging mental health units to prevent the scores of suicides by patients that occur on wards every year, which he says are due to failings of care by NHS providers.

The health and social care secretary wants to cut the number of inpatients taking their own life on NHS premises from more than 80 to none.

In a speech on Wednesday Hunt will tell specialist mental health trusts to “leave no stone unturned” in a quest to play their part in reducing the suicide rate.

“The UK has one of the lowest suicide rates in Europe, not least thanks to some very good NHS care. But the uncomfortable truth is that every NHS inpatient’s suicide is a potential failure of care,” Hunt will say at a National Suicide Prevention Alliance event.

“If we want to offer the highest standards of mental health provision we should recognise that the causes of an inpatient suicide may be systemic but are never inevitable.

“Every single such death causes untold misery to families and also to NHS staff, so it is right to set our sights high and aim for nothing less than zero inpatient suicides,” he will add.

However, Hunt will not promise any new measures to tackle the often-chronic understaffing of NHS mental health units, some of which rely heavily on agency staff to plug vacancies for nurses and doctors.

Between 81 and 91 suicides occurred in NHS mental health units each year between 2012 and 2015, including 81 in 2015. But that is far fewer than the 153 in 2005. Major progress on patient safety has significantly reduced such deaths.

Hunt wants units to improve observation of patients deemed a potential suicide risk, improve the risk assessment element of patients’ personal care plans and also do more to reduce the opportunities for inpatients to take their own lives – for example, by removing ligature points.

Hunt’s initiative is inspired by a similar drive towards zero mental health inpatient suicides involving hospitals, clinics and emergency departments in the US city of Detroit in the late 1990s. The NHS in Merseyside and in the east and south-west of England have begun schemes to reach the zero target that Hunt wants all trusts to have as an ambition.

Vicki Nash, head of policy and campaigns at the mental health charity Mind, said it backed Hunt’s move.

“Suicides are not inevitable – they can be prevented with the right support in place. Nobody who is in touch with services, asking for help, should reach the point of taking their own life. This includes if someone is at their most vulnerable and in hospital for their mental health.

“Trusts need to make sure people receive a high standard of treatment in a safe and therapeutic environment,” she said. “Too many families lose loved ones to suicide every year and in so many cases such tragedies can be prevented.”

In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. Hotlines in other countries can be found here.

Hunt urges NHS mental health units to prevent inpatient suicides

Health secretary to tell trusts that scores of suicides on NHS wards are due to ‘failure of care’

Jeremy Hunt


Jeremy Hunt: ‘The uncomfortable truth is that every NHS inpatient’s suicide is a potential failure of care.’ Photograph: Neil Hall/PA

Jeremy Hunt is urging mental health units to prevent the scores of suicides by patients that occur on wards every year, which he says are due to failings of care by NHS providers.

The health and social care secretary wants to cut the number of inpatients taking their own life on NHS premises from more than 80 to none.

In a speech on Wednesday Hunt will tell specialist mental health trusts to “leave no stone unturned” in a quest to play their part in reducing the suicide rate.

“The UK has one of the lowest suicide rates in Europe, not least thanks to some very good NHS care. But the uncomfortable truth is that every NHS inpatient’s suicide is a potential failure of care,” Hunt will say at a National Suicide Prevention Alliance event.

“If we want to offer the highest standards of mental health provision we should recognise that the causes of an inpatient suicide may be systemic but are never inevitable.

“Every single such death causes untold misery to families and also to NHS staff, so it is right to set our sights high and aim for nothing less than zero inpatient suicides,” he will add.

However, Hunt will not promise any new measures to tackle the often-chronic understaffing of NHS mental health units, some of which rely heavily on agency staff to plug vacancies for nurses and doctors.

Between 81 and 91 suicides occurred in NHS mental health units each year between 2012 and 2015, including 81 in 2015. But that is far fewer than the 153 in 2005. Major progress on patient safety has significantly reduced such deaths.

Hunt wants units to improve observation of patients deemed a potential suicide risk, improve the risk assessment element of patients’ personal care plans and also do more to reduce the opportunities for inpatients to take their own lives – for example, by removing ligature points.

Hunt’s initiative is inspired by a similar drive towards zero mental health inpatient suicides involving hospitals, clinics and emergency departments in the US city of Detroit in the late 1990s. The NHS in Merseyside and in the east and south-west of England have begun schemes to reach the zero target that Hunt wants all trusts to have as an ambition.

Vicki Nash, head of policy and campaigns at the mental health charity Mind, said it backed Hunt’s move.

“Suicides are not inevitable – they can be prevented with the right support in place. Nobody who is in touch with services, asking for help, should reach the point of taking their own life. This includes if someone is at their most vulnerable and in hospital for their mental health.

“Trusts need to make sure people receive a high standard of treatment in a safe and therapeutic environment,” she said. “Too many families lose loved ones to suicide every year and in so many cases such tragedies can be prevented.”

In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. Hotlines in other countries can be found here.

Hard-hitting new advert urges smokers to quit

Smokers are being urged to quit in the new year by a government advertising campaign highlighting how toxic chemicals from cigarettes spread rapidly through the body.

The 20 second advert features a lone man lighting up outside a building, with the blood vessels in his arms, face and hands quickly turning black as chemicals from the cigarette tar enter his body.

“Every cigarette you smoke causes poison from tar to enter your bloodstream and spread to every part of your body. If you could see the damage, you’d stop,” the voiceover states.

The advert, by Public Health England, has been released alongside other media including a short film in which a GP, Dr Dawn Harper, talks to a group of smokers about the levels of carbon monoxide, cadmium and cancer-causing substances called nitrosamines in their blood, and the damage these chemicals can cause to the body. The film stresses that when smokers quit, the levels of these chemicals drop off.

Martin Dockrell, head of tobacco control at Public Health England said that January was a popular time to kick the habit. “Our campaign is to add to that motivation and give extra support to people who want to quit in the new year,” he said.

The campaign, he added, is aimed at emphasising the dangers posed by tar. “Tar is this generic name we give for all the solid matter that you inhale [from a cigarette],” he said.

Dockrell said that smokers who want to quit would benefit most from attending a local stop smoking service, where both medicines and behavioural support are available. However, he added that there are also numerous resources at the NHS smokefree website, including an app which helps smokers see how much money they save as they quit.

And with e-cigarettes as well as nicotine replacement therapies such as patches, gum, microtabs and nasal sprays now available, Dockrell is sanguine.

“There’s never been a better time to quit: more people are quitting and they are quitting more successfully than ever,” he said. With new, standardising packaging and an array of novel devices, “Smoking has never been more unpleasant and the alternatives have never been more appealing,” he added.

Hard-hitting new advert urges smokers to quit

Smokers are being urged to quit in the new year by a government advertising campaign highlighting how toxic chemicals from cigarettes spread rapidly through the body.

The 20 second advert features a lone man lighting up outside a building, with the blood vessels in his arms, face and hands quickly turning black as chemicals from the cigarette tar enter his body.

“Every cigarette you smoke causes poison from tar to enter your bloodstream and spread to every part of your body. If you could see the damage, you’d stop,” the voiceover states.

The advert, by Public Health England, has been released alongside other media including a short film in which a GP, Dr Dawn Harper, talks to a group of smokers about the levels of carbon monoxide, cadmium and cancer-causing substances called nitrosamines in their blood, and the damage these chemicals can cause to the body. The film stresses that when smokers quit, the levels of these chemicals drop off.

Martin Dockrell, head of tobacco control at Public Health England said that January was a popular time to kick the habit. “Our campaign is to add to that motivation and give extra support to people who want to quit in the new year,” he said.

The campaign, he added, is aimed at emphasising the dangers posed by tar. “Tar is this generic name we give for all the solid matter that you inhale [from a cigarette],” he said.

Dockrell said that smokers who want to quit would benefit most from attending a local stop smoking service, where both medicines and behavioural support are available. However, he added that there are also numerous resources at the NHS smokefree website, including an app which helps smokers see how much money they save as they quit.

And with e-cigarettes as well as nicotine replacement therapies such as patches, gum, microtabs and nasal sprays now available, Dockrell is sanguine.

“There’s never been a better time to quit: more people are quitting and they are quitting more successfully than ever,” he said. With new, standardising packaging and an array of novel devices, “Smoking has never been more unpleasant and the alternatives have never been more appealing,” he added.

NHS urges parents to vaccinate flu ‘super-spreader’ children

NHS England is urging parents to vaccinate “super-spreader” children against flu so grandparents and other vulnerable relatives will be less at risk over the Christmas period.

Flu vaccines administered through a nasal spray rather than an injection have been rolled out this autumn for two and three-year-olds, and children in reception class and years one to four in primary school.

Children are super-spreaders because of the greater likelihood of them contracting flu at nursery or school, where germs are passed on at a rapid rate. But only 18% of school-age children have had the nasal spray immunisation, according to the latest figures.

Prof Keith Willett, NHS England’s medical director for acute care, said: “Flu can be spread more easily by children, especially to vulnerable relatives such as older grandparents, those with heart or lung conditions and pregnant family members.

“Last year, millions of people missed out on their free vaccination and yet it’s one simple, common sense step to help us all stay healthy this winter.”

With less than a month until Christmas, the NHS is urging parents to book their children in for the free vaccination to help curb infection over the festive season, when family get-togethers can spread the infection.

Earlier this month, the health service regulator, NHS Improvement, warned that the NHS was in an “extremely challenging” position with winter approaching because hospitals have failed to free up enough beds.

As a result, this winter is likely to prove difficult for hospitals, NHSI said. There were 400,000 additional A&E attendances between November 2016 and February, bringing the total to more than 7.5m, an increase of 5.6% on the previous year.

Flu can lead to serious complications and increase the risk of death in older people and among other vulnerable groups such as those with asthma, pregnant women and patients with heart, liver and lung complaints.

The NHS is also calling for hundreds of thousands of frontline social care workers to take up the free flu vaccine, providing £10m to offer it to registered residential, nursing and home care staff for the first time to help curb the spread of flu to the elderly people they are looking after.

Dr Paul Cosford, the medical director at Public Health England, said: “The vaccine is the best protection there is against flu, which causes on average 8,000 deaths a year – many of which occur in the winter months.

“The nasal spray vaccine last year reduced children’s risk of flu by 65%, meaning they were less likely to spread it to relatives and others they come into close contact with … It’s quick, easy and painless.”

NHS urges parents to vaccinate flu ‘super-spreader’ children

NHS England is urging parents to vaccinate “super-spreader” children against flu so grandparents and other vulnerable relatives will be less at risk over the Christmas period.

Flu vaccines administered through a nasal spray rather than an injection have been rolled out this autumn for two and three-year-olds, and children in reception class and years one to four in primary school.

Children are super-spreaders because of the greater likelihood of them contracting flu at nursery or school, where germs are passed on at a rapid rate. But only 18% of school-age children have had the nasal spray immunisation, according to the latest figures.

Prof Keith Willett, NHS England’s medical director for acute care, said: “Flu can be spread more easily by children, especially to vulnerable relatives such as older grandparents, those with heart or lung conditions and pregnant family members.

“Last year, millions of people missed out on their free vaccination and yet it’s one simple, common sense step to help us all stay healthy this winter.”

With less than a month until Christmas, the NHS is urging parents to book their children in for the free vaccination to help curb infection over the festive season, when family get-togethers can spread the infection.

Earlier this month, the health service regulator, NHS Improvement, warned that the NHS was in an “extremely challenging” position with winter approaching because hospitals have failed to free up enough beds.

As a result, this winter is likely to prove difficult for hospitals, NHSI said. There were 400,000 additional A&E attendances between November 2016 and February, bringing the total to more than 7.5m, an increase of 5.6% on the previous year.

Flu can lead to serious complications and increase the risk of death in older people and among other vulnerable groups such as those with asthma, pregnant women and patients with heart, liver and lung complaints.

The NHS is also calling for hundreds of thousands of frontline social care workers to take up the free flu vaccine, providing £10m to offer it to registered residential, nursing and home care staff for the first time to help curb the spread of flu to the elderly people they are looking after.

Dr Paul Cosford, the medical director at Public Health England, said: “The vaccine is the best protection there is against flu, which causes on average 8,000 deaths a year – many of which occur in the winter months.

“The nasal spray vaccine last year reduced children’s risk of flu by 65%, meaning they were less likely to spread it to relatives and others they come into close contact with … It’s quick, easy and painless.”