Care for those who have self-harmed is lacking

  • Researchers say that many hospitals in England are failing to provide adequate care for people who have self-harmed.

    Research into 32 hospitals over a three-month period highlighted a marked variability in the care provided.  Over two-thirds of self-harm patients didn't receive specialist psychological assessments and it showed that little improvement had occurred over a decade. Self Portrait 2

    Senior author of the study, Professor Nav Kapur, said: "We were surprised to find that despite national guidelines and policy initiatives, the management of self-harm in English hospitals is as variable as ever. This is important because the treatment patients get in hospital affects their outcome. It remains to be seen how the more recent guidance and the linked quality standards for self-harm services will impact on care. Hopefully, people who self-harm will increasingly get the assessment and treatment they need."

    It is estimated that one in twelve young people in the UK are believed to have self-harmed at some point in their lives, reports the BBC.

    A spokeswoman for The NHS Confederation's Mental Health Network said that there was no excuse for inactions. "Variability is sadly very real in our NHS. The reasons for this are complex as are the solutions, but that doesn't mean it is acceptable."

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    Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/747910

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