The main aim of the study was to establish the proportion of hospital trusts in England and Wales in which training in the assessment of suicide risk and risk of harm to others is available to mental health professionals. A questionnaire was sent to clinical directors covering training on these subjects and in mental health legislation, details of training and the existence of risk-related policies.
Seventy-six per cent of trusts said they provided training in suicide risk assessment for junior psychiatrists; for hospital and community nurses, the figure was just over 50%. Between 50% and 60% of trusts said they provided training in the assessment of risk of harm to others. Provision of training in mental health legislation was said to occur in most trusts. In some key areas of risk management, hospital policies were uncommon.
Despite the current importance of risk assessment in mental health services, many hospital trusts do not provide their staff with relevant training.
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