Standards of care for people who self harm are “bleak,” finds report

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 07 July 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c3649
  1. Lynn Eaton
  1. 1London

    Junior hospital doctors, who lack appropriate training to deal with people who have self harmed or tried to take their own lives, are being left to cope with patients in busy accident and emergency departments—often at night and with no appropriate specialist support.

    That is just one of the shortfalls in services provided for patients who are at the “limit of what they can emotionally endure,” says a report from the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

    The report includes a survey of 1500 college members, of whom fewer than half (49%) felt that they or their team were appropriately qualified to deal with patients who had self harmed. Meanwhile 46% of those responding said they had not received specific training on self harm. Of those working in accident and emergency departments, two …

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