Plea to NHS chiefs over town’s high suicide rate

Suns Mental Health charity. Pictured: Front, left to right, Ricki Chandler, June Stewart, Danielle Curtis, Tracey Kemp. Back, left to right, Richard Pike, Dominic Chandler, Ann Mooney, Rahim Moussa, Kegan Mooney, Louise Young and Stacey Lambert

Suns Mental Health charity. Pictured: Front, left to right, Ricki Chandler, June Stewart, Danielle Curtis, Tracey Kemp. Back, left to right, Richard Pike, Dominic Chandler, Ann Mooney, Rahim Moussa, Kegan Mooney, Louise Young and Stacey Lambert

First published in News by

“DO not forsake us” was the urgent plea from mental health patients to NHS chiefs after it emerged Swindon has experienced a jump of 60 per cent in suicides since 2005.

Ann Mooney, the chairman of mental health support charity SUNS, put patients’ questions and concerns to bosses, warning them that only a deep change in attitudes and treatment would reverse the alarming rise in suicides at a meeting of Swindon Council’s health overview and scrutiny committee on Wednesday.

New figures released by the council revealed that 26 suicides were reported in 2012 compared to 11 in 2005. Measured, as the suicide rate is, in blocks of three years as a pooled average, it represented a rise of 60.2 per cent.

The increase reflects a UK-wide trend, especially since the start of the financial crisis, and is on a par with the national average.

Ann told elected members: “It’s about time people started listening to the patients and not just listening to what we users call ‘the people of power above’.

“We are not saying that there are not some good staff on the ground but the service users feel they are a statistic – that they are a number and that no-one cares about them.

“When a person dies, the mental health services have a meeting to learn from that suicide. How many more people have to die for them to learn? We need to look not just at suicides but the statistics of how many people attempted suicide.”

Getting to the root of the issue and placing renewed focus on the families of patients diagnosed with depression or who have attempted suicide was crucial, she added.

Ann, who herself suffers from mental health problems and has attempted suicide, also questioned current practices under which, she said, drug users and patients dependent on alcohol were, she claimed, given inadequate care, if any, due to their addiction – an addiction too often triggered by depression and a sense of helplessness.

Health chiefs agreed to provide a detailed formal answer to her questions at a later date.

Coun Roderick Bluh (Con, Old Town) expressed concerns at what he saw as a very medical approach, which meant that those most isolated in the community too often fell off the mental health or social services’ radar.

“This really is an issue that needs to be looked at,” he said. “Being alone and isolated is a key component to this.

“A lot of people are known to the mental health services but many are not. The prevention strategy seems very medically-oriented and there doesn’t seem to be much emotional support available to stop lonely people in the community going down that path we don’t want them to go.”

Newlands Anning, head of profession and practice at Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, said the organisation was in the process of putting together a new suicide prevention strategy and would soon create a self-harm register monitoring patients admitted to the Great Western Hospital’s A&E department.

Comments (2)

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12:27pm Sun 2 Feb 14

anotherimigrant says...

The NHS is failing to listen to those who challenge poor care and champion the rights of patients. He says those who try to speak out are too often “ostracised” by their colleagues and managers.

Of 100,000 NHS staff it was found one in four had complained about bullying by their managers.

It delights in the ritual humiliation of those deemed to fail, tolerates and institutionalises outdated working practices and old-fashioned hierarchies and can almost encourage “managers” and “clinicians” to occupy opposing camps.

We need the Government to change the way it holds the NHS to account: an end to trusts being blind-sided by waiting targets that miss the point, skew priorities and have unintended consequences
The NHS is failing to listen to those who challenge poor care and champion the rights of patients. He says those who try to speak out are too often “ostracised” by their colleagues and managers. Of 100,000 NHS staff it was found one in four had complained about bullying by their managers. It delights in the ritual humiliation of those deemed to fail, tolerates and institutionalises outdated working practices and old-fashioned hierarchies and can almost encourage “managers” and “clinicians” to occupy opposing camps. We need the Government to change the way it holds the NHS to account: an end to trusts being blind-sided by waiting targets that miss the point, skew priorities and have unintended consequences anotherimigrant
  • Score: 1

12:13pm Mon 3 Feb 14

ChannelX says...

Politicians have painted themselves into a corner re. the NHS and those who support the propaganda will, ironically, be the ones responsible for its demise.


CQC head David Prior warns NHS will 'go bust' without radical culture change



The head of the health watchdog says the NHS in England has a culture that "doesn't listen" and he has been "shocked" by behaviour he has seen.



Almost half of NHS hospitals expect to end the financial year in debt, with a combined £330 million “black hole” in their finances by the end of March.

A series of scandals has shaken public trust in the health service, not least at Stafford Hospital where there were hundreds of “excess” deaths as patients suffered appalling maltreatment and neglect.


Just a few of the many headlines and articles already published in the first month of this year alone.
Politicians have painted themselves into a corner re. the NHS and those who support the propaganda will, ironically, be the ones responsible for its demise. [quote] CQC head David Prior warns NHS will 'go bust' without radical culture change [/quote] [quote] The head of the health watchdog says the NHS in England has a culture that "doesn't listen" and he has been "shocked" by behaviour he has seen. [/quote] [quote] Almost half of NHS hospitals expect to end the financial year in debt, with a combined £330 million “black hole” in their finances by the end of March. A series of scandals has shaken public trust in the health service, not least at Stafford Hospital where there were hundreds of “excess” deaths as patients suffered appalling maltreatment and neglect. [/quote] Just a few of the many headlines and articles already published in the first month of this year alone. ChannelX
  • Score: 2

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