WIGAN NHS chiefs have backed a government call for a fundamental improvement on how the service tackles suicides.
Mental health bosses at the 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust have vowed to review its Suicide Reduction Strategy after Deputy PM Nick Clegg said he wants hospitals to aspire to averting all such deaths.
Now a new strategy has been devised in the hope of preventing any of the borough’s residents who come through the health system from taking their own lives.
A spokesman for 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust said: “We absolutely support and share the view that suicide is preventable, rather than an inevitable outcome of mental ill-health.
“A team of more than 20 Senior Trust Consultants have been conducting research that has informed our Suicide Reduction Strategy, which also reflects learning from both Detroit and the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness.
“We are now implementing the roll-out of this strategy in partnership with our commissioners and provider colleagues.
“The Trust continues to back the home-grown award-winning State of Mind rugby league campaign, which is aimed at tackling suicide in men and was pioneered by our clinician Dr Phil Cooper.”
Figures from the Community Mental Health Profiles in 2013 showed that between 2009 and 2012 the borough had more residents admitted to hospital for depressive disorders than anywhere else in the region.
In Wigan suicide rates were higher than the region and of the UK, with 176 out of 100,000.
More than 4,700 people killed themselves in England in 2013, a rise of more than six per cent on 2012.
Recently a Wigan police officer took his own life after being suspended following allegations of serious child sex offences.
Area coroner Alan Walsh, recorded that former paratrooper Colin Anthony Fearnyough, of Warrington Road, Abram, had killed himself in woods off Belle Green Lane, Ince, on August 8.
The inquest heard that police launched a missing person’s appeal after the 49-year-old, who was on police bail, failed to turn up to the station on August 6.
Mr Fearnyough, who had served with Greater Manchester Police for 16 years doing specialist and undercover work, was suspended from duties in February after he had been arrested on suspicion of misconduct in a public office and inciting children to commit sexual offences.
However the inquest heard that the allegations had not been proven.
A post-mortem examination revealed Mr Fearnyough had died as a result of suspension by ligature and there were no traces of drugs or alcohol in his system.
Mr Walsh concluded: “I am sure he intended to take his own life.
“It was likely serious matters were troubling him and he could not face these.”