Delivering safer services within the Zero Suicide Ambition programme. An evaluation for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System.

Snell, Laura and Grimwood, Tom (2020) Delivering safer services within the Zero Suicide Ambition programme. An evaluation for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System. Health and Society Knowledge Exchange (HASKE). (Unpublished) Item availability may be restricted.

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Abstract

Context:
Health and Society Knowledge Exchange (HASKE) worked with the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System to look at the implementation of their Zero Suicide Ambition Programme, specifically their delivering safer services work stream. This evaluation aimed to examine how the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health’s (NCISH) Safer Services Toolkit was applied in practice, and identify any enablers or blockers to using this toolkit in mental health trusts, acute trusts and primary care. In addition, the evaluation explored how the participants’ organisations are currently delivering and monitoring safer services.

Methodology:
This qualitative study utilised a purposive sampling strategy, in order to collect detailed data from relevant stakeholders involved in the implementation and addressing of the delivering safer services work stream. The participants were identified by the commissioner for their involvement with suicide prevention services across the North East and North Cumbria. Participants were based in specialist mental health trusts, primary care, and mental health services in an acute trust.

Findings:
The evaluation found that awareness of the NCISH toolkit varied amongst the participants:
At the time of this evaluation, there was limited evidence available to participants of full implementation of the toolkit, although participants reported plans reported to roll it out in the near future in some trusts.
- Several participants only became aware of the NCISH toolkit through their recent involvement with the Suicide Prevention Network.
- The implementation of the NCISH toolkit can be enabled by partnership working, awareness of the social determinants of suicide and access to adequate resources.
- The evaluation identified several potential blockers to utilising the NCISH toolkit: a lack of awareness of the toolkit; limited capacity to implement the resource; reservations about the value of the toolkit and how it could potentially enhance current processes within the service; and limited access to mental health training for some practitioners.
- In particular, the findings draw attention to the limited mental health training available for primary care practitioners. However, there is evidence that some organisations are developing education programmes to raise awareness of suicide and self-harm amongst healthcare professionals and the wider community.
- Participants suggested several modifications to the NCISH toolkit. For example: streamlining the content and separating the toolkit into individual sections for each healthcare service; developing a handy card for primary care practitioners, which focuses on the most pertinent information and enables signposting to local services; broadening the scope of the toolkit to cover more sectors/services involved in supporting people at risk of suicide or self-harm.

Recommendations:
- It is recommended that the NENC ICS and Suicide Prevention Network could explore mechanisms for raising awareness of the NCISH toolkit and the potential benefits of implementing it within services. This awareness raising might address some of the blockers to implementation reported in the evaluation findings.
- As only one organisation had implemented the toolkit at the time of this evaluation, it would be beneficial to conduct a follow-up study at a later stage to gain a deeper understanding of the various enablers and challenge to implementation across different services. Further research could explore a wider range of services and individuals throughout the organisations, in order to capture evidence about how the toolkit is applied in practice at different levels and in different fields.
- As the evaluation highlighted several modifications that might enhance the implementation of the NCISH toolkit within some services, it is recommended that the participants’ suggestions be shared with NCISH to open up discussions about how the toolkit might potentially be further developed or shaped to meet the specific needs of some mental health services. In particular, exploring the ways in which aspects of the toolkit can be tailored for different sectors (such as primary care) would be beneficial to enhancing its implementation.
- This evaluation has drawn attention to the need for more mental health training, particularly within primary care, and this is an area for further research. This research would seek to understand the needs of the broader body of frontline staff, so as to address the challenges to implementation that were raised here: in particular how the toolkit interfaces with the wider contexts of care delivery.

Item Type: Report
Publisher: Health and Society Knowledge Exchange (HASKE)
Departments: Research Centres > Health and Society Knowledge Exchange (HASKE)
Additional Information: The evaluation project was commissioned by the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System. This report was authored by Dr Laura Snell and Dr Tom Grimwood at Health and Society Knowledge Exchange (HASKE), University of Cumbria.
Depositing User: Laura Snell
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2021 11:47
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2021 20:16
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/5939

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