Kerry McCarthy, MP for Bristol East, has raised the Improving Care in Self-Harm Health Integration Team's (STITCH HIT) recommendation to allow prescriptions to be dispensed in instalments for at risk patients, in Parliament. STITCH HIT is the Health Integration Team which looks at improving care in self-harm, led by Salena Williams, Senior Nurse in Liaison Psychiatry at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. Their recommendation is to dispense medicines which are lethal in overdose in smaller instalments for patients considered at risk of self-harm or suicide.
Kerry has already written to the Health Secretary to highlight STITCH's work and research. It is hoped that raising the issue in Parliament will lead to a meeting with Ministers, which could include members of STITCH.
"I had been very interested to hear about STITCH's work to improve integration and communication between services and I was grateful to Salena and her colleagues for getting in touch and for the further information they provided.
"Their recommendation to allow prescriptions to be dispensed in installments for at risk patients seemed like a simple, common sense solution that could really make a difference in some cases.
"I wrote to the Health Secretary to highlight their work and research, but was disappointed to receive a response that seemed more concerned with prescription charge revenue, despite the potential difference this could make in reducing the opportunity for harm, and despite the fact that many patients cannot afford multiple prescription charges.
"So I had hoped that, by raising this in Parliament, Ministers would reconsider and would work with health professionals like those at STITCH. I will now be writing to the Minister, Dan Poulter, to follow up on his offer of a meeting and I'll see if it's possible for representatives from STITCH to attend."