Enhanced Self-Harm Support and Recovery Service

An enhanced recovery and support service for adults in North Staffordshire who are self-harming or having suicidal thoughts is being launched on 1 October.

The new Self-Harm Support and Recovery service pathway will support a larger number of patients, particularly those who present to primary care.

It will be delivered by NHS mental health professionals supporting local primary care services and also involve additional training being offered to system partners.

Many people who self-harm are not known to secondary care services, so the aim will be to ensure they are seen at an earlier stage and able to receive the specialist mental health help and support they need; reducing the possibility of ending up in an emergency department.

It will be funded via the existing adult Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Community Mental Health Transformation programme and be provided in North Staffordshire by North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust, with Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust providing the service in the south of the county.

It will build on the current pathway which is provided by Brighter Futures and funded until the end of September via the UK Health Security Agency’s (formerly Public Health England) Suicide Prevention Strategy.

Nationally, hospitals in England deal with around 220,000 episodes of self-harm each year, by around 150,000 people. The risk of suicide increases by 30-50 times following self-harm.

According to national statistics, hospital admissions relating to self-harm within Stoke-on-Trent are 84% higher than the West Midlands regional average, and 88% higher than the national average.

The Community Mental Health Transformation programme in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent is part of a national programme set out in the NHS Long Term Plan to enable people with severe mental illness to access care and support in a new, more joined up and effective way, regardless of their diagnosis or level of complexity.

You can find out more about the local programme at Adult Community Mental Health Transformation – Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Integrated Care Board.

I hope you will join me in welcoming this news. If you have any questions about the provision in North Staffordshire please contact Emma Jones (EmmaL.Jones@combined.nhs.uk) or Sarah Newton (Sarah.Newton@combined.nhs.uk)

Thank you,

Ben Richards

Executive Director of Operations, North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust