Dublin north east hospitals deal with almost 11,500 self-harm cases in just four years

Seven hospitals in the Dublin north east area were presented with almost 11,500 self-harm cases over just a four-year period.

Out of 11,494 presentations, just 2,002 (17.4%) were admitted to a ward, 804 (7%) were admitted to psychiatry, 2,070 (18%) left without being seen/refused, and 6,618 (57.6%) were not admitted between 2012 and 2015.

Some 3,175 of these presentations were at the Mater Hospital, 2,371 were to Beaumont, 2,197 to James Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown and 492 to Temple Street Children’s Hospital.

A further 756 were presented to Cavan General Hospital, 1,640 to Our Lady’s Hospital, Drogheda and 863 to Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan.

Independent Deputy Tommy Broughan called the alarming figures "shocking and deeply upsetting".

In a response from the National Office for Suicide Prevention, Deputy Broughan was told that in 2012 there were 2,991 self-harm presentations to Emergency Departments; in 2013 there were 2,709; in 2014 there were 2,878 and in 2015 there were 2,916.

Of the 4,869 presentations discharged from the Emergency Department 1,131 (23.2%) were sent home with no follow-up, 564 (11.6%) were transferred to another psych unit/hospital, and just 228 (4.7%) were transferred to another hospital.

A further 1,371 (28%) were referred for an out-patient appointment, 590 (12.1%) were referred to a GP, 58 (1.1%) are categorised as ‘other’, 282 (5.8%) were referred to psychological services, 483 (9.9%) were referred to Community-Based Mental Health Teams and just 162 (3.3%) were referred to addiction services.

Deputy Broughan said: “Almost 11,500 Emergency Department presentations for self-harm over a four year period in just one HSE region is shocking and deeply upsetting.

"We must ensure that support and resources are available to the tens of thousands of people experiencing mental health difficulties and times of despair before they reach a stage of inflicting physical pain upon themselves.

"These figures sadden me greatly and I welcome the Connecting for Life strategy to reduce suicide and self-harm rates.

"I sincerely hope that political will gets behind the strategy which has been in place for two years now and that we will begin to see reductions in these numbers.”

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