Configuration and utilisation of clinical pathways by patients who attend A&E in suicidal crisis


Suicide is a major public health issue. Although national data is available for individuals who attend A&E for self-harm and suicidal injury, there is no national data for those individuals who attend A&E in suicidal crisis. Furthermore, the clinical pathways available for patients after presentation in suicidal crisis are complex and they have not yet been examined systematically. Gaining a greater insight into the configuration and utilisation of clinical pathways for individuals attending A&E in suicidal crisis will better inform modelling of service provision for these patients.

This study will enable two mental health trusts across Cheshire and Merseyside to review 9 A&E departments’ hospital data for individuals who attend in suicidal crisis. This research is required to determine whether data collection at A&E sites is acceptable and feasible for planning the most effective pathways for people attending in suicidal crisis. The aim is to gain an understanding of how these visits are coded, and whether the pathways of care are consistent at each site. To our knowledge, this is the first study to explore suicidal crisis data at A&E level and we want to test the feasibility of developing a national data collection tool for A&E departments track people who attend in suicidal crisis.


Participant’s medical notes will be identified using the electronic databases at each A&E site. The researcher will have on-site access to these notes. Potential participants will be screened, and if eligible, data will be recorded on a quantitative proforma. Once extracted data will be immediately anonymised. No identifiable data will be held by the researcher.

A coding system will be put in place in case the researcher needs to go back to the patient files (i.e., for missing data). This will be done by setting up a key that will be held within the Trust. The NHS number of participants will be linked to a unique anonymised study number on the key. If researcher MM needs to go back to a patient file this key will allow identification, only the Trust would hold this information.

Who is carrying out the study?

Liverpool John Moores University in conjunction with local NHS Trusts (Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Trust) are working together to carry out this research.

How can I opt-out from the use of my data?

This study is in compliance with the NHS National Data Opt-Out requirements.

If you have used any A&E sites in suicidal crisis across Mersey Care and Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Trust and do not wish for your information to be used please contact the researchers by email, phone or post:

Molly McCarthy, PhD student:

Dr Pooja Saini, Director of Studies:

Phone: 0151 231 8121

Address: School of Psychology, 317 Tom Reilly Building, Byrom Street, Liverpool, L3 3AF

Study Webpage: