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NICE: Commissioning for self-harm

NICE: Commissioning for self-harm


Guidelines have been released by NICE to ensure the needs of people who self-harm are met in the range of services they use.

Knowledge and awareness of self-harm needs to be addressed, as well as improving treatment and onward referral, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) suggest.

The advice highlights that for people who have self-harmed, staff attitudes are often reported as contributing to poor experiences of care.

Commissioners should prioritise the assessment and treatment of people who self-harm, according to the guidelines.

Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive at NICE said: “Making commissioning decisions based on the NICE self-harm quality standard and guidance will contribute to improvements in health and social care outcomes by ensuring that staff coming into contact with people who self-harm in any setting are provided with appropriate training to help them better understand the problem of self-harm, and provide the right assessment, treatment and follow up.” 

Figures suggest that around 180,000 people aged over 15 attend hospital after self-harming each year.

Incidences of self-harm increase the likelihood of suicide by between 50-100%.

The original quality standard on self-harm is available on the NICE website.


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