RCOG policy briefing: The Health Committee inquiry into action necessary to improve suicide prevention in England Skip to main content
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RCOG policy briefing: The Health Committee inquiry into action necessary to improve suicide prevention in England

News 17 August 2016

Suicide rates in England have been rising in recent years, reaching 4,882 in 2014.

Although suicide disproportionately affects men, with male suicides accounting for 76% of suicides in England in 2014, between 2013 and 2014 there was a 14% increase in female suicides. 

In 2012 The Government published Preventing Suicide in England: A cross-governmental outcomes strategy to save lives, as well as two progress updates in 2014 and 2015. The strategy identifies a number of high risk groups who are priorities for suicide prevention, including specific occupational groups such as doctors. 

The Health Committee would like to examine what further action should be taken to prevent suicide and are looking for submissions on the following points:

  • The factors influencing the increase in suicide rates, with a focus on particularly at-risk groups
  • The social and economic costs of suicide and attempted suicide
  • The measures necessary to tackle increasing suicide rates, and the barriers to doing so—in particular the Committee will consider the role of:
    • Local authorities and partner organisations, including police, transport police, the rail industry, fire services, schools, youth services, and drug and alcohol services
    • Mental health services and other parts of secondary care, including A&E and psychiatric liaison services
    • Primary care services
    • Referrals from non-statutory services - local support groups, faith groups, carers, friends and family
    • Examples of best practice, including those from other countries
  • Media reporting of suicide, the effectiveness of guidelines for the reporting of suicide, and the role of social media and suicidal content online
  • The value of data collection for suicide prevention, and the action necessary to improve the collection of data on suicide. 

Information for members

View the inquiry and terms of reference

The RCOG will be making a formal submission to the inquiry and would welcome your views on measures to help prevent suicides in doctors.

If you would like to have your views considered for inclusion in the RCOG submission, please send them to krussell@rcog.org.uk by Monday 29 August 2016. We actively welcome your input into this inquiry however, RCOG reserves the right to include/exclude these views in our final document. 

The inquiry is open, so if you would like to submit directly to the Committee please follow the guidance on the inquiry’s page. The deadline for submissions is Friday 9 September 2016.

Contact us

For more information about the RCOG’s policy and public affairs activities, please contact policy@rcog.org.uk or call +44 20 7772 6332.