Norfolk & Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP)
Norfolk & Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) consists of all NHS organisations and local authorities in Norfolk & Waveney, working with voluntary sector and other groups, to improve health and care, designed around the needs of whole area, not just individual organisations.
The STP footprint covers the whole of the county of Norfolk and also the district of Waveney, which is located in Suffolk and covers a population of approximately 1 million.
A list of all the Norfolk and Waveney STP member organisations is available on the website.
Suicide Prevention Webpages: www.norfolk.gov.uk/iamokay
How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
Norfolk & Waveney STP actions detailed here relate to the multi-agency suicide prevention strategy and action plan for Norfolk, for detail of actions in Suffolk see ‘Suffolk Lives Matter’.
Norfolk & Waveney STP is committed to reducing suicide and provides oversight and leadership for the implementation of our ‘I am (really not) okay’ strategy. Implementation of the strategy is led by ‘The Norfolk Suicide Prevention Implementation Group’, members of the group lead action on suicide preventions within their own agencies/organisations in Norfolk. Progress of the strategy is reported through both ‘STP Prevention’ and ‘Mental Health’ Boards.
The Norfolk Suicide Prevention Strategy and action plan aims to protect communities and individuals from harm caused by suicide and suicidal behaviour, directing joint responses to the specific drivers of suicide in Norfolk- addressing poverty, low self- esteem and rural isolation. We also undertake suicide audits to provide an understanding of the evidence base including the people it affects and the agencies that could help.
Suicide is not inevitable, and preventing it is everyone’s responsibility. The government Mental Health Five Year Forward View set the ambition to reduce the number of deaths from suicide by 10% from 2016-2021. Norfolk has adopted this target with a view to reducing the suicide rate further in later years. No one agency can achieve this alone, and our strategy outlines how we will work together to meet this target. Suffolk County Council are also leading similar suicide prevention plans which cover the Waveney area.
Taking into account the complexity of influences which prompt individuals to take their lives, we are confident that together we can prevent suicide, reduce stigma and promote wellbeing in Norfolk and Waveney.
What are your current priorities?
Reduce the risk of suicide in key high risk groups
Key high risk groups in Norfolk include specific occupational groups and people with substance misuse issues.
The Norfolk action plan details how we will reduce risk in these key groups, this includes:
– Development of a training framework
– Guidance for front line staff e.g. healthcare workers & Jobcentre Plus staff
– Implementation of policing professional practice – Suicide bereavement and suicide prevention
– Review guidance and pathways for people with complex needs
– Offenders: Review release planning processes and through the gate activities
– Audit compliance with best practice guidelines on discharge from psychiatric care
– Promote good mental health among targets groups e.g. men in high risk occupations
– Review hospital guidance for people who have self-harmed or attempted suicide
– Enhanced Psychiatric Liaison Services to be in place in all 3 Norfolk Hospitals
– Children & Young People: Raising resilience, bereavement support, guidance and training for school staff, and mental health awareness.
Tailor approaches to improve mental health in specific groups
Specific groups identified as vulnerable in Norfolk include: People living with long term physical health issues, and Survivors of abuse or violence, including sexual abuse.
The Norfolk action plan details how we will improve mental health in these specific groups, this includes:
– Guidance and campaigns around self-management or accessing support earlier should be accessible for diverse communities.
– Raise the visibility of current national / local suicide prevention self-help tools through development of a web resource
– Social marketing campaign – focus on men’s mental health and delivering key messages to men in midlife experiencing disadvantage
– Embedding suicide prevention in workplace health initiatives – ensure employers understand their responsibility for the well-being of employees
– Implement Public Health England guidance and masterclasses on suicide prevention.
Reduce access to the means of suicide
The Norfolk action plan details how we will reduce access to means of suicide, this includes:Work with British Transport Police and railway services for guidance on training received by their staff and how to maximise impact of campaigns, particularly in rural areasRoutine part of all safety planning to ask about access to guns including ownershipAdvise on reducing access to methodsProvide education materials for GPs and mental health clinicians to use the safest prescribing options for people at risk of self-poisoningInpatient mental health, and prison services to regularly review and monitor access to means when individuals are in their care.
Provide better information and support to those bereaved or affected by suicide
The Norfolk action plan details how we will provide information and support people who are bereaved or affected by suicide, this includes:
– Improve awareness of resources and support for families of people who die by suicide
– Engage with support services available for families e.g. Nelsons Journey, Samaritans & CRUSE
– Produce a support care pack for families
Support research, data collection and monitoring
The Norfolk action plan details how we will support research, data collection and monitoring, this includes:
– Improve information sharing and referral pathways between organisations in contact with vulnerable people. In particular, GP and mental health services
– Improve information sharing pathways between different teams within organisations in contact with vulnerable people
– Consider how assessments and safety plans are recorded and ensuring that the future commissioning of IT systems supports the sharing of information
– Improve local information on suicide risk for veterans
– Conduct further research into female released prisoners and suicide
– Partner agencies commitment to seeking opportunities for research and evaluation of impact
– Produce annual updates on the suicide audit and implement Norfolk Real Time Suicide Surveillance Systems (RTSSS)
– Suicide data collection of offenders to be standardised to support RTSSS.
Support the media in delivering sensitive approaches to suicide and suicidal behaviour
The Norfolk action plan details how we will support the media in delivering sensitive approaches to suicide and suicidal behaviour, this includes:
– Working with local media to disseminate use of and awareness of the Samaritans guidance on responsible reporting, this includes using supportive language and working together to reducing stigma
– Developing a campaign that supports World Suicide Prevention Day and other national initiatives
– Organise suicide prevention learning events to review progress and raise awareness.
Reducing rates of self-harm as a key indicator of suicide risk
The Norfolk action plan is being updated to include actions specific to reducing rates of self-harm.
What challenges are you currently facing?
Suicide is an important public health issue and a priority for Norfolk, given our relatively high local rate (12.4 suicides per 100,000 people), which is higher than the national average.
Norfolk & Waveney STP covers a large rural and coastal area and covers two County Council areas, which presents challenges for providing consistent services and preventative interventions.
One provider provides mental health services in both counties but Norfolk and Suffolk and the service provider currently have separate suicide prevention strategies. However, all partners are committed to working together to share resources and align vision and benefits.
Partnerships are well supported and the voluntary and community sector has an important role to play in preventative work but further work is needed to increase social action and responsibility and not just be reliant upon health, social care and education.