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Introducing a nurse-led deliberate self-harm assessment service

  • Gill Griffin (a1) and Jonathan I. Bisson (a2)
Abstract
Aims and Method

This study considered patients admitted to hospital following deliberate self-poisoning. The characteristics of the patients and the outcomes of assessments by trainee psychiatrists and a mental health nurse were compared.

Results

There were no significant differences in the outcome of 68 assessments performed by a trainee psychiatrist and 77 by a mental health nurse. The nurse assessment service was well-received by the poisons unit, a medical ward specialising in overdose treatment, and trainee psychiatrists.

Clinical Implications

Psychosocial assessments following self-poisoning can be provided by appropriately trained and supervised mental health nurses. The introduction of a nurse-led service should enhance relationships with the local poisons unit and reduce the workload of junior doctors without compromising their training needs.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Bialas, M. C., Reid, P. G., Beck, P., et al (1996) Changing patterns of self-poisoning in a UK health district. Quarterly Journal of Medicine, 89, 893901.
Catalan, J., Marsack, P.M., Hawton, K., et al (1980) Comparison of doctors and nurses in the assessment of deliberate self-poisoning patients. Psychological Medicine, 10, 483491.
Central and Scottish Health Service Councils (1968) Hospital Treatment of Acute Poisoning (Hill Committee Recommendations). London: HMSO.
Crawford, M. J. & Wessely, S. (1998) Does initial management affect the rate of repetition of deliberate self harm? Cohort study. British Medical Journal, 317, 985.
Department of Health and Social Security (1984) The Management of Del/berate Self-Harm. HN (84) 25. London: Department of Health and Social Security.
Johnson, S. & Thornicroft, G. (1994) General medical services – accident and emergency departments. In: The Prevention of Suicide (a conference organised by the Department of Health, Faculty of Public Health Medicine, Royal College of General Practitioners and the Royal College of Psychiatrists) (eds Jenkins, R., Griffiths, S., White, I., et al), pp. 7182. London: HMSO.
NHS Centre for Review and Dissemination (1998) Deliberate self-harm. Effective Health Care. York: University of York.
Royal College of Psychiatrists (1994) The General Hospital Management of Adult Deliberate Self-Harm. Council Report CR32. London: Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Scorer, R. C., Beck, P., Bisson, J., et al (1999) A dedicated district poisons treatment unit: response to the College guidance on the management of deliberate self-harm. Psychiatric Bulletin, 23, 352355.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Introducing a nurse-led deliberate self-harm assessment service

  • Gill Griffin (a1) and Jonathan I. Bisson (a2)
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