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Self-harm hospital admissions fall across west London

Brent reported the lowest rate of hospitalisation due to self-harm

Self harming teenager with razor blade(Image: Credit: Peter Dazeley Getty Images)

The number of people admitted to hospital for self-harming has fallen over the past year across west London.

Brent saw the lowest rate in England, with 194 people hospitalised due to self-harm in the 2014-15 financial year, at a rate of 58.9 self-harm admissions per 100,000 residents.

This is a drop of 3.3% compared to 2013-14, according to statistics from Public Health England (PHE).

Many parts of west London have low rates of self-harm, and the second lowest figure nationally was in Kensington and Chelsea where there were 99 self-harm admissions, at a rate of 63.5 admissions per 10,000 people - a fall of 28% compared to the previous financial year.

Elsewhere, in Harrow there were 177 people admitted to hospital, at a rate of 71.4 per 10,000 people or a decrease of 16% in comparison to 2013/14.

All eight west London boroughs including Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham, Ealing, Hillingdon and Hounslow - came in below the national average figure.

Dr Con Kelly, medical director at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I’m pleased to see these figures – any improvement in outcomes is welcome and suggests more people are finding help with GPs, voluntary sector, probably family and friends too, as well as the emergencies that come through A&E.

"But we must make services as easy to find and use as possible; staff certainly work hard but there is a great deal more to do.”

Across England, hospital admissions due to self-harm fell by 6% in 2014/15.

There were 105,765 admissions to hospital following self-harm in 2014/15, at a rate of 191.4 per 10,000 people - compared to 204 admissions per 10,000 people during the same period in 2013/14.

Blackpool recorded the highest rate of self-harm in England with 630 admissions per 100,000 residents.

An NSPCC spokesperson said: “The drop in the number of people being admitted to hospital is reassuring, but there is an enormous amount of work to be done.

“We know self-harm remains a real area of concern amongst children and can be linked to problems at home, school or because children are being abused.

“Often young people do not know why they do it and talking through their problems can help them identify what is upsetting them.

“It’s worth remembering children will go to great lengths to cover indications of self-harm, but there are emotional and physical signs to look out for including cuts, bruises and burns particularly to the arms, wrists and thighs. Emotional signs include depression, low motivation, becoming withdrawn and unusual eating habits.

“Adults with any concerns can call the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000, while children and young people can call ChildLine confidentially on 0800 1111.”

N.B. The data only records those who injure themselves seriously enough to be admitted to hospital the actual rate of people who are self-harming is likely to be far higher.

Signs of self-harm:

Cuts, bruises, scratches or burns to the body

Excessive drinking or drug-taking

Unusual eating habits; sudden weight gain or loss developing problems such as anorexia

Depression, tearfulness and low motivation

Becoming withdrawn and isolated, for example wanting to be alone in their bedroom for long periods

Staying in an abusive relationship

Low self-esteem and self-blame

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