Update on suicide prevention in Lancashire and South Cumbria
Decision Maker: Health Scrutiny Committee
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: No
An update on suicide prevention activity
across Lancashire and South Cumbria.
County Councillor Eddie Pope declared a non-pecuniary interest as he was Lancashire County Council's Champion for Mental Health.
The Chair welcomed County Councillor Shaun Turner, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing; Chris Lee, Public Health Specialist – Behaviour Change, Lancashire County Council; and Paul Hopley, Deputy Director ICS Mental Health, Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS); to the meeting.
An update on suicide prevention activity across Lancashire and South Cumbria was presented to the committee. The update also provided members with information on actions taken against recommendations previously made by the committee at its meeting in December 2017.
In response to questions from members the following information was clarified:
· Public Health were currently engaged with a number of district councils across the county to implement the Suicide and Drug Related Deaths Logic Model Action Plan that was initially developed with Rossendale Borough Council. In addition information packs were due to be issued to all district councils to support the Covid19 hubs.
· Lancashire and South Cumbria was one of the first areas in the country to implement a real time surveillance system. The system was viewed as best practice by NHS England and the Royal College of Psychiatry. The system provided access to police data in relation to suspected suicides and facilitated timely support for families. Slide 30 (page 68 in the agenda) was a mock example of the data collected by the system. The data had been used to inform and produce targeted campaigns across the area.
· The Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System website contained details of support available including an interactive map.
· Lancashire and South Cumbria was also one of the first areas in the country to implement a Suicide Bereavement Service.
· On the work of hospital and mental health trusts in the area, members were informed that suicide prevention training was paused for a month during the pandemic while the offer was converted to online format. It was reported that the training offer was open to anybody not just frontline staff and was provided free of charge. An evaluation of the first year of Lancashire and South Cumbria's suicide prevention training had also been conducted by Liverpool John Moores University. The outcome from this evaluation was positive.
· Work had been commissioned through Public Health around supporting teachers in schools.
· The key message was that mental health and suicide prevention was everybody's business and there had to be a whole system approach to tackle it and build resilience into communities, schools and businesses.
· There was a 24 hour helpline available run by professional staff and volunteers. Crisis Cafes had also been established as an alternative option.
· Members were informed that a psychological resilience hub had been set up for staff to fast track referrals.
· It was felt there was a vital need to establish Covid safe venues for community groups and vulnerable people to meet in a safe environment.
· On whether there was a formal route for district member champions to link in with suicide prevention work, it was explained that there was a pan Lancashire Elected Members Group which district champions and parish councillors could connect with. Contact details would be provided to members following the meeting. It was suggested that suicide prevention training be offered to parish councillors.
Resolved: That the update on Suicide Prevention in Lancashire and South Cumbria be noted.
Report author: Gary Halsall
Date of decision: 03/11/2020
Decided at meeting: 03/11/2020 - Health Scrutiny Committee