Learning to Improve: Risk Assessment


Dr Michael Smith – Lead Associate Medical Director, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Mental Health Services

Dr Nagore Penades – Consultant Psychiatrist, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dr Brian Gillatt – Consultant Psychiatrist, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Sharon Pettigrew – Professional Nurse Advisor, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

During the period 2011-2017, 5,286 people died from suicide in Scotland (figure taken from the Scottish Public Health Observatory data pages). Nearly three-quarters had contact with acute mental health addictions or primary care services in the year before death. These healthcare contacts offer the potential to intervene to reduce the risk of suicide happening. 

This session will describe an integrated, whole-system approach to improving service responses to people presenting with suicidal behaviour in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.  

This includes a co-ordinated range of interventions aimed at reducing risk: 

  • The use of information gathered in Significant Clinical Incident Reviews to highlight areas of concern, influence policy and monitor change.
  • Research conducted in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde showing a significant correlation between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and suicide risk.
  • Developing a comprehensive approach to staff training, online and in small groups.
  • Developing new risk assessment tools in the light of current evidence and the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde audit.
  • Incorporating risk management into eHealth systems.
  • Reducing risks associated with the ‘environment of care’, including refurbished and new-build inpatient units.
  • Using improvement methodology and the Scottish Patient Safety Programme to address the ‘human dimensions’ of change.