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Entitled the ‘National Clinical Programme for the Assessment and Management of Patients presenting to Emergency Department following Self Harm’ the HSE said this is part of an overall strategy in this area.
Suicide is well recognised as a serious public health issue with 11,126 self-harm presentations to EDs in Ireland and 459 deaths in 2014.
This Programme aims to provide a standardised specialist response to all such people and, by so doing, reduce the numbers leaving EDs without an assessment, link people into appropriate care, involve families and friends as appropriate with an overall aim of reducing repetition which is known to be associated with an increased risk of completed suicide.
The HSE has funded 33.5 clinical nurse specialists located in EDs across the country to deliver the programme in addition to the teams and staff already in place. This is in line with the objectives in the HSE National Service Plan. To date the Clinical Programme is operational in 16 EDs and efforts continue to recruit specialist nurses to vacant posts.