QES is a specialist developer of web based and offline apps, supporting secure digital data solutions for a diverse range of public and private sector clients. QES support multi-agency working with excellent access and flexibility to deliver solutions that are not only 100% fit for purpose but also future proofed too.

As proud health and safeguarding specialists, QES recognise that the collection and interpretation of broad information from multiple partners is essential in the ability to learn from, and react to, emerging patterns and issues. Ultimately, the use of technology and the collection of data acts as the catalyst for change, enabling clients to make a difference where it is fundamentally needed.

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

We have developed a Suicide Surveillance system, in partnership with Thrive LDN and South Yorkshire, which enables a multi-agency approach to collecting real-time data on suicides. The collection and surveillance of this data, along with the learning opportunities that come with it, help local authorities to better focus their suicide prevention plans by being able to identify trends and recurring patterns.

The system takes into account the demographics, behaviours and characteristics of each individual and ties in all responses from local services to provide one comprehensive view of the circumstances leading up to the suspected suicide.

The system also provides the opportunity for local services to implement postvention support more easily, by recognising those who may be affected by the suicide whether that be the friends, family and local community surrounding the individual, or any witnesses who may also require support.

We recognise that collecting real-time data is of growing importance, rather than waiting for a suicide to be confirmed by the coroner. The QES system facilitates the collection of data at notification of a suspected suicide to enable local services to derive learning immediately and proactively implement change.

QES are committed to increasing the awareness of suicide prevention by sharing content across our online platforms promoting tools and resources, and helping to eliminate the stigma surrounding suicide. We’re also increasing our presence at conferences to expand our own learning in order to further develop our system and to reflect the evolving needs of our user group. For example, features such as the heat map provide local services a clear view of where hotspots are, enabling them to take targeted action to reduce suicides in that area

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What are your current priorities?

Our priority is to empower local services to take targeted action in prevention and postvention by providing them with a single portal that brings together the data required for analysis and learning. We firmly believe the future of suicide prevention lies in the lessons that can be drawn from the past, and having real-time data and knowledge accessible to multi-agencies and services offers more opportunities to interject in the future and improve prevention.

Another important, ongoing priority of ours is to continuously evolve the system to ensure it responds to emerging suicide patterns across the country. We are committed to ensuring our suicide surveillance system benefits regularly from new functionalities and to continue to provide a solution which is not only fit for purpose, but future proofed too. The evolution of our suicide surveillance system has led to the development of an attempted suicide system, which provides the ability to record suicide attempts, recognise emerging trends, analyse data and flag up multiple instances, which facilitates organisations in making an even bigger difference to suicide prevention.

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What challenges are you currently facing?

The challenge we are all facing is the prevalence of suicide and the impact it has on our lives, whether that be as an individual struggling with mental health and encountering suicidal thoughts, or being someone who has felt the profound knock-on effect when a suicide sadly does occur.

The cross-government suicide prevention plan in 2019 was a step in the right direction and it is great to see campaigns across the country highlighting the importance to remove the stigma and enforce change. However, the challenge is continuing to take significant strides forward with targeted action and deriving the lessons that can be learnt from every individual case.

It is crucial to learn from attempted, suspected and completed suicides, in order to monitor trends and establish learning which can significantly help with both postvention support and suicide interventions and prevention. QES are committed to supporting this journey with other organisations and help in whatever way we can.

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