Plan to prevent suicides across Nottinghamshire as rates in Bassetlaw are highest in county

Nottinghamshire County Council is planning to further target suicide rates in the county as the numbers of people taking their own lives in some districts including Bassetlaw are on the rise despite a range of existing preventative programmes.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 6:20 pm

Data given to the Health and Wellbeing Board at Nottinghamshire County Council shows that suicide rates in Bassetlaw and Newark and Sherwood are increasing.

But rates in Mansfield have fallen dramatically in the last 10 years, along with Gedling, Ashfield and Nottinghamshire county as a whole, where rates have also dropped.

Councillors were told during the meeting on today that the county’s Integrated Care System was successful in receiving NHS England for a three-year programme on suicide prevention.

County Hall, Nottinghamshire County Council's headquarters in West Bridgford.

Plans include further suicide awareness training and targeted communications for students and older adults and those at risk of self harm.

Dr Robyn Wight said: “In Notts county, we lost 188 people to suicide in the last three years.

“Suicide has a significant, lasting and often devastating impact on individuals, friends, family and the wider community.

“The suicide rates in Notts county as a whole have remained stable over the last 10 years.

“Bassetlaw does have a higher suicide rate consistently. This is similar to neighbouring districts in South Yorkshire such as Doncaster and Rotherham.

“In response to this Bassetlaw received extra suicide prevention funding.”

Chairman of the health and wellbeing board, councillor Dr John Doddy said: “Bassetlaw just jumps out at you. It shouldn’t be any worse than Ashfield and yet historically it has been.

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“Rushcliffe probably doesn’t surprise you with the low numbers that are there.

“Is there anything that is specific to Bassetlaw that could be addressed that we are aware of?”

Consultant in Public Health, Catherine Pritchard, added: “We know people who live in deprived areas are more at risk of suicide.

“In relation to Bassetlaw, there has been a recognition nationally in response to that high rate.

"Bassetlaw were provided with NHS funding a number of years ago now to help do the preventative work.

“They’ve had specific projects related to men who we know are most at risk.”

The report given to councillors states that certain groups are more at risk of suicide including men, people in the care of mental health services, people in contact with the criminal justice system, and children who have experienced abuse.

People who work as doctors, nurses, veterinary workers, farmers and agricultural workers are also more at risk.

The council’s suicide prevention action plan has also been refreshed and endorsed by councillors at the meeting.

A council report stated: “In Nottingham and Notts, the latest data demonstrates average suicide rates between 2018 and 2020 have reduced compared to the time period 2017 and 2019.

“The average suicide rate has reduced to 8.6 from 9.1 in Notts, and reduced to 11.5 from 12.7 in Nottingham per 100,000 population.

"In Notts, the number of suicide deaths has decreased to 188 between 2018 and 2020, compared to 199 between 2017 and 2019.”

District number of suicide deaths between 2018 and 2020:

Ashfield 24Bassetlaw 44Broxtowe 24Gedling 20Mansfield 18Newark and Sherwood 35Rushcliffe 23Nottinghamshire (total) 188

When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123 or email [email protected] Visit www.samaritans.org for more information.