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Analysis

Project reduces self-harm in children and adolescents

A systematic approach to data collection has helped staff at a child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) unit to identify ways to cut its average length of stay by 75% and reduce incidence of self-harm among inpatients by 85%

A systematic approach to data collection has helped staff at a child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) unit to identify ways to cut its average length of stay by 75% and reduce incidence of self-harm among inpatients by 85%.

Patient safety consultant nurse Jill Bailey set up the project in June 2014 at the CAMHS unit at Marlborough House in Swindon, part of Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.

By June 2015, the project had reduced the average number of self-harm incidents from 12 a month to just two.

Welcome news

These results are welcome at a time of widespread cuts to CAMHS budgets. Statistics from children’s mental health charity YoungMinds show that 75% of mental health trusts froze or cut their budgets between 2013-14 and 2014-15, and that more than one in five local education authorities have frozen or cut their CAMHS budgets every year since

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