Unique suspected suicide reporting piloted in NW

A UNIQUE system of formally reporting suspected suicide was piloted in the Western Trust area before being rolled out across Northern Ireland in April.

Health Minister Edwin Poots said there were some issues with the Sudden Death Notification scheme with regards to the timescales within which the forms were received but this has improved.

Previously, some forms were not being received by Trusts more than a week after a sudden death.

There was also the issue of someone dying in hospital a number of days after a suspected suicide attempt being unlikely to be notified through the process.

The Health Minister explained: “The Public Health Agency (PHA) and the Health Trusts have worked with the PSNI to establish a system for the use of Sudden Death Notification forms to notify relevant statutory agencies about a sudden death.

“This was piloted in the Western Area and introduced across Northern Ireland on April 1, 2012, and is, therefore, relatively new. This system of formally reporting a suspected suicide is unique to Northern Ireland.”