North East and North Cumbria Suicide Prevention Network

The North East and North Cumbria Suicide Prevention Network’s vision is: Based on evidence of how best to prevent suicide and promote wellbeing and resilience, we will work together to take action to reduce suicide, so that fewer people die by suicide and we improve support for those affected.

The North East and North Cumbria Suicide Prevention Network consists of different agencies from various sectors, along with people with lived experience of self-harm and suicide, working together as part of the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS). The ICS framework aims to transform the way services are delivered to people across the North East and North Cumbria, supporting the provision of a more integrated approach to health and social care.

Our regional multi-agency collaborative is intended to support local suicide prevention planning and improvement activity, with the aim of helping reduce incidence of suicide and self-harm, along with the impact and stigma that can be associated with it.

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

By gathering and using all the available evidence of how best to prevent suicide and self-harm, the North East and North Cumbria Suicide Prevention Network collaborates as different agencies and communities, and people with lived experience of self-harm and suicide, to take action to prevent self-harm and suicide across our region. We also work in partnership to promote wellbeing and resilience so that fewer people die by suicide, including those in high-risk groups. We aim to reduce the impact and stigma of suicide and improve support for those affected.

The Network is overseen by a multi-agency regional Suicide Prevention Steering Group, which reports to the over-arching steering group for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS) Mental Health workstream. The steering group works collaboratively to coordinate, support and monitor suicide prevention activity across the region, with the ambition to do everything possible to reduce suffering and prevent all suicides, and to reduce the impact where this does happen.

This regional Network approach supports collaboration across service boundaries and will help to ensure that expertise, best practice and learning is shared across agencies, that gaps and potential duplication are identified, and resources are shared/made widely available to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the plan and related activity, ensuring impact at scale.

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What are your current priorities?

The aims of the Network are:

– To reduce the number of suicides including in high-risk groups, and by a minimum of 10% by 2021, in all areas across the ICS.

– To reduce the incidence of self-harm and repeated self-harm.

– To reduce the impact of self-harm and suicide.

– To reduce the stigma of self-harm and suicide.

Following national guidelines, the NENC Suicide Prevention Network covers 5 key areas of activity: Leadership; prevention; intervention; postvention; intelligence.

This will help provide a framework for a whole system approach to improvement and support a comprehensive programme of inter-related activity, at different levels. This approach will also help ensure a consistent approach with other integrated care systems (ICS) and national programmes of suicide prevention work.

Under the 5 areas of activity, 3 enabling work streams and 7 priority workstreams, each with related objectives, form the basis of a detailed programme of work. These workstreams have been agreed following extensive consultation and engagement across the North East and North Cumbria. The views of people with lived experience have been at the forefront of this work. Activity will be delivered at both ICS, sub-regional (ICP), and locality local level. The focus of the plan is on supporting local frontline action which will have a direct impact on those affected by suicide.

Enabler workstreams:

These work streams will help support and enable successful delivery against priority workstream activity.

– Leadership – To develop a regional and sub-regional framework, linking local activity to national with wide engagement. (Leadership)

– Communications and engagement – To enable the successful delivery of the plan at all levels across the region. (Leadership)

– Evidence and evaluation – To work in collaboration with NHS England and NHS Improvement agreed process/quantitative/qualitative measures to evaluate the impact each of the priority workstreams. (Intelligence)

Priority workstreams:

Each priority workstream will follow the agreed objectives and be supported by ICS priority workstream groups bringing together expertise and learning from good practice across the region. ICS priority workstream groups will support ICP and local implementation/task and finish groups to ensure best practice is implemented based on local needs and variation.

– Develop system wide competency (Prevention) – To develop a consistent, multi-agency tiered approach to learning and development, based on Health Education England competency frameworks for self-harm and suicide prevention.

– Real time alerts and better use of data (Intelligence) – To develop a consistent approach to local real time alerts processes and how this is used to inform suicide prevention activity.

– Learning from incidents (Intelligence) – To develop a systematic process for analysing and learning from near misses and deaths by suicide / suspected suicide that informs suicide prevention activity.

– Targeting high-risk groups (Prevention/Intervention) – To develop a multi-agency response for target groups where an ICS level approach would be more effective/have more impact.

– Postvention support (Postvention) – To develop support across all areas of the ICS region for people bereaved/affected by suicide, including families, communities and the workforce.

– Delivering safer services (Intervention) – Based on NICE guidelines and the 10 key elements to improve safety, across urgent care, mental health services and primary care, including children and young people’s services.

– Developing safer communities (Prevention) – To develop local place-based suicide prevention activity with a focus on high risk groups and locations.

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What challenges are you currently facing?

– Engagement of additional stakeholders.

– Sustainability of funding.

– Building an evidence base and effective evaluation of the work.

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