The epidemiology of self-harm in older people is poorly understood and a low incidence rate hampers research efforts. Regional surveillance for this may assist with research and improve clinical services accordingly. This study involved undertaking a scoping exercise to explore current management of self-harm in elderly people in selected North London hospitals, by interviewing healthcare professionals directly involved in their treatment.
The study showed varied methods of coding clinical information across trusts, with no consistent method of surveillance.
Implications of this exercise involve generation of a summary document that will educate stage two of the project, which is the convention of a working party to implement a surveillance system across the region.
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