Man sitting on bench in fog

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

What is the aim of this study?

Working collaboratively with Cheshire Wirral Partnership NHS Trust and Mersey Care NHS Trust, the aim of this study is to examine:

  1. Data across eight A&E sites for individuals who attend in suicidal crisis
  2. Clinical pathways available to individuals who attend A&E in suicidal crisis
  3. Patterns of pathway usage
  4. Similarities and differences across each services clinical pathways.

Why is this research important?

Suicide is a major publish 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 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 patients in suicidal crisis will inform better modelling of service provision for these patients.

This study will enable two mental health trusts across Cheshire and Merseyside to review eight A&E departments’ hospital data for patients 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 individuals who attend 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. Currently, there is no published research on patient service usage of A&E departments for individuals attending in suicidal crisis.  

Will the outcomes of the research be published?

The findings will be published as part of a PhD project and in journal articles. Findings will inform the development of theory-driven suicide prevention in A&E settings for individuals in suicidal crisis and will be highly relevant to health services locally and nationally including primary care in the translation of research into clinical practice.

Who should I contact for more information about the study?

Molly McCarthy, PhD student:

Dr Pooja Saini, Director of Studies:

Prof Taj Nathan, Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist: