Public Health England

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Public Health England (PHE) is a National Agency that has a remit to improve the health of the people of England and reduce health inequalities. Good health is more than the absence of disease. The well-being and mental health team within PHE crosses the spectrum from population well-being to better outcomes for those with a mental illness. Suicide prevention is a cross cutting theme.

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Organisation Details

Address Wellbeing and Mental Health
Health and Wellbeing Directorate
Public Health England
Skipton House
80 London Road
Twitter @PHE_uk
Facebook PublicHealthEngland

How would you describe your organisation's role in contributing to the delivery of NSPA’s outcomes to reducing suicide and improving support for those bereaved or affected by suicide?

PHE works closely with PHE centres and Local Authority Public Health Directorates. Local Authorities are well placed to develop suicide prevention strategies and develop action plans as they know their local communities and the inequalities within them. Suicide and self-harm rates are monitored on a local authority bases as part of the Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF) measures.

What are the current challenges to delivering NSPA’s outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

PHE is only in its second year as an organisation. Many public sector organisations are facing major cuts in funding as austerity measures are introduced within the UK and PHE has its part to play with the cuts being introduced. However PHE have developed a Wellbeing and Mental Health team with a Director leading the work as it recognises the importance of Mental Health and suicide prevention within such austere times.

What are your organisation’s priority actions for the next 12 months, to contribute to the reduction of suicide and improved support for those bereaved or affected by suicide, and which address the challenges you have set out?

Set up a real time suspected suicide pilot
  • Establish a multi-agency steering group (This will become a sub group of ACPO suicide prevention group).
  • Learn from the Northern Ireland experience of real time surveillance
  • Identify 3 areas across England to run a pilot.
  • Agree what information is to be collected sudden death 1 form (SD1).

Time line – July 2014

Run the pilot and evaluate
  • Pilot areas: Leicestershire, North East England and S Yorkshire
  • PHE KIT to assist with evaluation

Time line – August 2014 – March 2015

Help is at Hand
  • Establish a steering group to assist in the development of a tender bid to update the resource.
  • Go out to tender
  • Updated version to be circulated
  • Work to be overseen by the National Suicide Prevention Advisory Group (Chair Prof Appleby)

Time line – March 2015

Suicide Hot Spot Guidance
  • Guidance to be updated
  • Exeter University to update guidance
  • Work to be overseen by the National Suicide Advisory Group

Time line – February 2015

Multiple Suicide/ cluster guidance
  • Go out to tender for evidence based guidance on multiple suicide/ cluster guidance for use in England.
  • Distribute guidance
  • Work to be overseen by the National Suicide Advisory Group

Time line – March 2015

Write guidance for Public Health in Local Authorities on how to write a suicide action plan
  • Guidance to follow on from the recommendations within “Preventing Suicide in England One Year on” report HM Government 2014
  • Aim to be launched on World Suicide Day 2014

Time line – 10th September 2014

Atlas of Variation (Suicide)
  • Explore with partners and develop an Atlas of Variation (suicide)
  • This will complement the PHE Mental Health Neurology and Dementia Intelligence Network
  • Suicide is a Public Health Outcome Measure
  • Self-Harm is a Public Health Outcome Measure

Time line – March 2015

NHS Health Checks
  • Explore introducing a mental health measure into the NHS Health Check.
  • This will need approval by the National NHS Health Check Board following rigorous scientific and governance review as the Health Check is written in statute .

Time line – March 2015

  • Work with the Department of Health and other partners to establish a mechanism for recording the Public Health Outcome measure for Self-Harm.

Time line – March 2015

Conferences Assist with the dissemination of research and best practice regarding suicide prevention
  • Assist partner agencies organise suicide prevention conferences e.g. NSPA and National Suicide Prevention Advisory Group.
  • Speak at conferences e.g. Rotherham Suicide Prevention, 15th European Suicide Prevention Conference

Time line – March 2015

Wellbeing, Mental Health and Suicide Networks
  • Establish a PHE WB MH and suicide E network
  • Encourage PHE Centres to establish their own networks with Local Authority Public Health leads as in Yorkshire and The Humber Centre.
  • Encourage Local Authority Public health leads to develop suicide action plans.

Time line – March 2014 – March 2015

Suicide Prevention base line Audit
  • Carry out a suicide prevention base line audit of PHE Centres
  • Encourage PHE Centres to audit their own Local Authority areas to establish a base line of suicide prevention activity, as done within the Yorkshire and Humber Centre.

Time line – March 2014