The Improving Care in Self-Harm Health Integration Team (STITCH HIT) presented their work to the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention on 13 March. STITCH Director Salena Williams was invited to present to the group, which is chaired by Madeleine Moon MP, alongside Jim Bolton, a psychiatric liaison nurse from South London.
She talked about the work of STITCH, including the Bristol Self-Harm Surveillance Register, and the trends in self-harm that its data is revealing. She presented the team's successful work to reduce waiting times and hospital stays among people who have attended A&E following self-harming, which an NIHR CLAHRC West economic evaluation estimated has saved the NHS £170k a year.
The APPG members were particularly interested in STITCH’s recommendation to change the law so that anti-depressants are subscribed in safe instalments to people who are at risk of suicide, rather than in larger batches that could be used to overdose. Moon has now written to Health Minister Jackie Boyle to highlight the issue.
STITCH Director Salena Williams said:
“I was delighted to be invited to present to the APPG. Our team has been working very hard to reduce self-harm and suicide in Bristol, and it was a privilege to be able to share our team’s successes and innovations with those in government. I am particularly hopeful that our recommendations to change the law around prescribing medicines that are lethal in overdose will be adopted. This is an issue we’ve been campaigning on for some time and have been trialling the approach in Bristol.”
David Relph, Director of Bristol Health Partners, said:
“Policymakers are taking notice of the self-harm and suicide prevention work going on here in Bristol, which is a great testament to Salena, Sue and the rest of the STITCH Health Integration Team’s tireless work. I am impressed with the way they have been able to reach the people who really matter at a national level. Bravo, STITCH!”