Our vision for West Yorkshire and Harrogate (WY&H) is for everyone to have the best health and wellbeing possible. In West Yorkshire and Harrogate we are working hard to further improve the health and care we provide to everyone. Our plan is for organisations to work together at a local and regional level to close the following three gaps set out in the NHS England's, Five Year Forward View and to improve services for local people:
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How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
Organisations from across the region are joining forces to stop this needless loss of life. This includes mental health and ambulance services, police and fire services, local authorities, prison services, and charities. We are aligning our efforts to offer the right support, at the right time, to those in need. We will do this at a regional level, as well as locally within each of our six areas – Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven; Calderdale; Harrogate and Rural District; Kirklees; Leeds; and Wakefield. Working together, we are adopting a zero suicide philosophy where each and every death by suicide is seen as preventable. Suicide will no longer be viewed as inevitable, or a terminal prognosis. We know that where this same approach has been taken internationally, there have been dramatic results. Services to support those bereaved by suicide have not yet received the recognition and resources they warrant and the WYHCP will seek to invest into these services and improve interventions for those bereaved by suicide.
What are your current priorities?
From the survey of partner agencies, regular meetings between partners and the review of the research evidence, a number of priorities for suicide prevention were identified by partner agencies. Sharing training and learning resources was identified as something that would allow staff to benefit from a shared resource that is delivered in a consistent and reliable way across the WYHCP. Each partner needs to be able to access key data quickly and efficiently in order for the whole WYHCP to benefit from expertise and resources. There is usually a delay in acquiring information about suicides so a ‘real time’ system will allow useful data to be instantly available. The data can be shared across agencies and will improve planning and provision of interventions. A mortality review framework is under development for use across the WYHCP NHS trusts.
What challenges are you currently facing?
Organisations not having a suicide prevention strategy. Variability across health care providers in terms of: use of approaches to assess risk; training provided to staff; clinical pathway for suicide; methods of care planning; and interventions offered. Incompatible IT systems across partners. Lack of data sharing amongst partners.