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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

Local nurses seal national recognition with self-harm response packs

A responsive resource pack designed by local mental health nurses to help people who have self-harmed earned national recognition this week at the HSJ Patient Safety Awards in Manchester.

‘Self-harm response packs’ are the brainchild of nurses at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Trust. They give frontline mental health staff a carefully chosen set of specialist dressings and products, such as honey-based antiseptics, to more quickly treat self-harm wounds. 

Using the packs helps to reduce the risk of wound infection and means the need for visits to local A & E departments is lessened. For a service user who has self-harmed at a vulnerable time in their recovery, visits to busy Accident and Emergency departments can be unsettling and difficult. Service users prefer to receive care directly and quickly from nurses they already know and these packs help that to happen more safely and easily. 

The recognition came at the national HSJ Patient Safety Awards 2019 in Manchester on Tuesday evening. The idea saw off dozens of entries from across the country in being ‘highly commended’ in 

The Best Emerging Solution for Patient Safety category. 

Adele Linthwaite, Tissue Viability Lead and Continence Advisor, at BSMHFT who leads the project said:

“Self-harm response packs  have been developed by nurses to provide better immediate care for people who self-harm and help avoid unnecessary visits to A&E.

“They are making a big difference in helping some of our most vulnerable service users on their recovery journey.” 

Roisin Fallon-Williams, Chief Executive BSMHFT said: 

“This project shows how our teams use their compassion, commitment and creativity to find new ways to better shape our care to the needs of our service users. The national recognition is very well deserved and we are now hoping to share this simply brilliant idea more widely in the NHS.” 

Adele Linthwaite