Health and Care Working Together in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw

Health and Care Working Together in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw (SYB) is a partnership of 25 organisations responsible for the health and care of 1.5 million people living in Barnsley, Bassetlaw, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield. The integrated care system (ICS) is made up of 18 NHS organisations, six local authorities and key voluntary sector and independent partners.

How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?

It has been agreed that a shared vision for suicide prevention across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw (SYB) will support and enhance the existing place based suicide prevention plans and the wide range of work already taking place. Partners across SYB are committed to:

– Working with high-risk groups including men and male prisoners, vulnerable children and young people (CYP) and people with personality disorder.

– Gaining a better understanding of, and support for, self-harm, particularly following acute hospital presentations.

– Providing better support for primary care staff through training and resources.

– Improving bereavement support across settings including postvention support for people affected by suicide.

– Working on initiatives around medication prescribing and/or storage.

– Developing a real-time suicide surveillance system that enables consideration of interventions required after a death has occurred where the circumstances suggest suicide in advance of the coroners conclusion.

– Working collaboratively with all partner agencies with an interest in suicide reduction to share good practice, learn lessons and carry out SYB wide projects.

The vision for work across SYB is to deliver the right support and care, in the right setting, by the right people; including the redistribution of resources to support prevention. Working collectively on suicide prevention strongly supports this vision.

Narrow divider

What are your current priorities?

Supporting locality areas to further develop suicide prevention and reduction plans

Each locality area will produce a driver diagram of how work on reducing suicide and self-harm in mental health services, reducing self-harm in community and acute services, suicide prevention in men and/or work with primary care will be delivered. This work will then be aggregated to determine what can be done once across SYB and what is best delivered in localities. Following the aggregation firm plans will be developed in terms of deliverables and what needs investment at a local level.

Develop a real time surveillance system across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw

A workshop will be held to agree a potential system of real time surveillance across SYB. Real-time suicide surveillance is a system that enables consideration of interventions required after a death has occurred where the circumstances suggest suicide in advance of the coroner’s conclusion. The workshop will agree what elements of real time surveillance can be done at scale and what needs to remain at local place, will agree where additional resources are required and begin work on outputs such as a business case for funding, memorandum of understanding etc.

Undertake a retrospective coroners audit across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw

Write a specification to commission a university led piece of work across the coroners’ offices in SYB to retrospectively review coroners’ verdicts around suicide to enable learning about circumstances; potential contributing factors i.e. austerity suicides across SYB.

Work with the local media across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw to improve media handling of suicide

Working in conjunction with communications leads across SYB reiterate to local media that industry-wide codes of practice should be heeded when reporting sensitive or complex issues, including suicide, whether the codes are codified in law or operate on the model of ‘self-regulation’. Promote the Samaritan’s Media Guidelines for reporting suicide.

Narrow divider

What challenges are you currently facing?

Current challenges to delivering our desired outcomes include:

– Delays in setting up a project team with the right skills to coordinate and support the work programme.

– Delays in transferring finances to localities for work programmes to begin.

– Problems or delays in accessing national expertise to inform further local analysis and identification of the most appropriate evidence based models for intervention.

– Lack of full primary care engagement.

– Identifying and securing external support for training programmes.

– Organisations not being able to release staff for training.

However, mitigations for the above will include:

– Considering the use of external project support to facilitate setting up the programme team and expert input into programme development if needed.

– Early involvement of CCG GP clinical leads in the programme.

– Ensuring the training plan has sufficient flexibility as regards delivery models.

– Allocating funding for backfill for clinical and other staff to attend training.

Risks will be escalated and managed through the SYB programme governance arrangements as appropriate.

Narrow divider