Articles of Interest August 2018

This month, we bring you latest relevant stories that have made the news, alongside articles of interest from healthcare online sites which may be of interest to you, or someone you know.  Please do continue to share our posts.  Thank you.

Our first article this month is taken from Pulse, an online health site and which centres on a recent  study by the University of York and University of Manchester, who explored relationships between depression QOF indicators (please see below for definition of QOF) and SMI (severe mental illness) & suicide rates between 2006 and 2014 in England.

The research indicates that offering GP’s incentives for improved care of patients with mental ill health via QOF hasn’t had any affect on suicide rates.

QOF Definition: ‘The Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) is a voluntary annual reward and incentive programme for all GP surgeries in England, detailing practice achievement results. It is not about performance management but resourcing and then rewarding good practice.’ (Copyright NHS Digital)

The paper , published in the British Journal of Psychiatry at the end of July 2018,  states that  ‘improved GP training in suicide prevention ‘is also essential’. alongside a ‘multiagency approach to suicide prevention’

We couldn’t agree more with these findings.  GP’s are under huge pressure, with vast numbers of patients to see every day, many of whom can’t be given the time they really need to fully discuss their mental health concerns, let alone discuss the next stages of their treatment plan.

Just how effective any improved GP training will be remains to be seen, but we must remain optimistic and hope that investment in our GP’s equates to preventative investment in those suffering mental ill health.

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Even those with the toughest jobs, exposed to more devastation, disaster and horror than any human being should have to face,  are susceptible to developing mental ill health challenges.

The Mirror reports on the story of policeman PC Rick Hooley, who worked as a family liaison officer for Cheshire Police, and took his own life after the loss of 19 family and friends and depression coupled with anxiety set in and bit hard.  Losing an uncle to suicide, followed by the break down of his marriage, were factors that added to his mental ill health.

Mr Hooley was undergoing counselling and his counsellor spoke at his inquest, confirming stress, anxiety and depression but advising that Mr Hooley would not consider taking his own life because of his daughters.

A truly tragic story which re-iterates that the right support, which much be a constant support, has to be available and tailored to each individual.  One size does not fit all.

We send our deepest sympathies to Mr Hooley’s family.

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It’s worth a click onto the Science Daily website, where they currently have articles on  Mental Illness & Brain Network Abnormalities, a new theory that may help explain the cause of depression,  and how discussing spirituality and religion during treatment of young adults with mental health illnesses is critical.

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Finally, the  completely preventable suicide of Amin Abdullah is reported by the BBC online.

Amin was an NHS Nurse, who set fire to himself after losing his job at Charing Cross Hospital.

The BBC website reveals: An independent investigation found the trust’s disciplinary procedures against Mr Abdullah were “weak and unfair”.

Many employers are making greater efforts to ensure fairness within the workplace and we applaud this.  But there is clearly much room for further improvement.  Let’s hope the horrific story of Amin will ensure fair and equal treatment of all employees, whoever they work for.

Our thoughts are with Amin’s family and friends.

 

SOS Silence of Suicide – It’s Time To Stop The Silence