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Shocking gap in self harm figures


At Bedford Borough Council Adult Services & Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee on 15 April 2014, Labour Councillor Louise King queried the scope and reliability of statistics given by the South Essex Partnership Trust (SEPT) on emergency admissions for intentional self-harm by young people.

The number of these admissions in the 10 – 17 year old age group in the Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) area was given as 70 for the year 2009 – 2010 and 100 for the year 2010 – 2011.

Cllr Louise King said: “The very low figures that SEPT have provided don’t seem to tally with the Royal College of Psychiatrist's view that as many as one in ten young people will self-harm at some point. I was also shocked that the most up to date figures available were from 2010-2011"

“A young person who self-harms may be seriously depressed or suicidal, they may be victims of abuse or have undiagnosed mental-health problems. It is vitally important that we work to identify exactly what the size of the problem is in Bedford Borough, so that we know how best to allocate resources, and also so that appropriate intervention and treatment can be arranged for those suffering."

“I was encouraged by the Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group's response to my concerns and look forward to them returning to the Scrutiny Committee as soon as possible with a comprehensive report, a plan of action and up to date statistics."

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