Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
NHFT is an NHS Foundation Trust that provides a range of services including mental health, learning disability, older adults, children’s and community physical health services. Services are provided across a range of settings including inpatient psychiatric units, community-based services and on an outpatient basis.
How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
NHFT provides a wide range of mental health and other services, all of which can contribute towards the reduction of suicide. Services include primary care psychological therapies services such as IAPT, as well as a range of secondary care services such as community mental health teams, inpatient mental health services, and specialist services such as personality disorder and early intervention in psychosis teams. The Trust also provides support for families who have been bereaved by suicide, and this is often part of the process of investigating and learning from serious incidents involving suicide. Reducing the risk of suicide and supporting people to stay safe is a core aspect of what NHFT is trying to achieve, and has direct links to many aspects of the organisations work.
What are your current priorities?
We hope to move away from professionally-led ‘risk assessment’ and towards collaborative safety planning in recognition that traditional risk assessments are poor at predicting future behaviour.
To promote the inclusion and involvement of families and carers in the prevention of suicide and delivery of care
– Based on national and local guidance and data, to improve our awareness and performance with regards to the involvement of families and carers in relation to the provision of care in general and suicide prevention specifically. This will be supported with specific, co-produced and co-delivered training for clinical staff.
What challenges are you currently facing?
Current challenges include
(1) Linking NHFT in with a wider countywide suicide prevention strategy. Northamptonshire is currently one of the few counties without a cross-agency suicide prevention strategy, so a current challenge is how to link with a wider strategic approach across the county.
(2) Internally getting large-scale engagement and changes in practice around key aspects of the suicide prevention strategy.
(3) The tension between ideal practice in terms of suicide prevention (e.g. following up all people who do not attend, or making contact with everyone who is discharged from hospital within 48 hours) and constraints from a practical/financial perspective.