Agenda Item No. 8


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Healthy Living and Social Care Scrutiny Committee: 12th June, 2017


Report of the Director of Social Services


Cardiff and Vale Suicide and Self-harm Prevention Strategy 2017-2020


Purpose of the Report

  1. The purpose of the report is to present to Members the strategy as to how the Cardiff and Vale will tackle the significant issue of suicide and self-harm through a public health approach.


     1.   That Members note the Cardiff and Vale Suicide and Self-harm Prevention Strategy attached as Appendix A.

Reason for the Recommendation

     1.   To keep the Scrutiny Committee informed and to ensure that Members of the Committee are fully aware how the Council can support the implementation of this Strategy;

     2.   To ensure that Members are fully engaged with the wider partnership work with colleagues in public health.


  1. A Suicide and Self-harm Prevention Steering Group was formed and prepared this Cardiff and Vale strategy document. This same group will also oversee its implementation. This strategy sets out how suicide and self-harm will be tackled in Cardiff and Vale over the next three years. It outlines the impact of suicide and self-harm, not only on the individual but their family, friends and others.
  2. The Cardiff and Vale strategy supports the national suicide prevention strategy for Wales 2015-2020, "Talk to Me 2", which identified six principle objectives for suicide prevention nationally and set out an action plan with 16 priority actions.
  3. The strategy aims to take a cross-sectoral and collaborative approach to ensure joint working across a range of settings. This is particularly relevant given the cross cutting aspects of scrutiny's remit and the corporate plan's objectives to support the public health agenda.
  4. As outlined in the Executive Summary:

"Talk to Me 2" identified a number of high risk groups as priority areas based on the epidemiology of suicide in Wales and this strategy seeks to target action in these groups: men in mid-life; older people over 65 with depression and co-morbid physical illness; adult prisoners; children and young people with a background of vulnerability; people in the care of mental health services including inpatients; and people with a history of self-harm. Cardiff and Vale hosts one prison; HMP Cardiff, which has a high turnover of prisoners and a high proportion of prisoners on remand. This means this population is particularly likely to have a high number of first time offenders and those with mental ill-health who are at risk of suicide and self-harm. With a younger population than the rest of Wales Cardiff and Vale is also likely to have a greater incidence of mental illness in general (most common in those aged 14-20 years).

  1. The Cardiff and Vale Suicide and Self-harm Steering Group identified eight objectives as priorities for local actions:

Objective 1: Identify locally appropriate training in line with the newly established, evidence based National Advisory Group (NAG) Framework.

Objective 2: Implement nationally developed workplace related guidance to aid staff and managers.

Objective 3: Implement the 'Time to Change' programme of work in Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (UHB).

Objective 4: Audit NICE guidance on the short and long term management of self-harm.

Objective 5: Ensure collaboration between Health Boards, Wales Alliance for Mental Health in Primary Care and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) to improve the management and recording of self-harm in primary care.

Objective 6: Ensure collaboration between Cardiff and Vale UHB / Public Health Wales, Cardiff and Vale Local Authorities and South Wales Police to identify 'hot spot' areas and consider barriers, nets, emergency telephone numbers or telephones at sites or structures that lend themselves to suicide attempts.

Objective 7: For Cardiff and Vale UHB / Public Health Wales to work with Local Authority planning departments and developers to consider suicide prevention at the design stage of buildings, especially with respect to schools, hospitals and residential care homes.

Objective 8: To work with HMP Cardiff to ensure adherence to the design requirements relating to ligature points and other means, as set out in the Prison Service Standing Order.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. This strategy makes a number of recommendations for taking this suicide and self-harm work forward:
  • Achievement of the eight objectives identified by the gap analysis (see section 5.3).
  • Formation of priority work streams to support achievement of the eight objectives.
  • The Cardiff and Vale Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention Steering Group to meet quarterly to oversee taking this strategy forward.
  • Engagement by Cardiff and Vale Suicide and Self-harm Prevention Steering Group in the South East Wales Suicide and Self-harm Prevention Group.
  • Representation by Cardiff and Vale Suicide and Self-harm Prevention Steering Group at the National Advisory Group.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. None as a direct consequence of this report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. None as a direct consequence of this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. None as a direct consequence of this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. None as a direct consequence of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. None as a direct consequence of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The service helps the Council to fulfil the following Corporate Plan outcomes:
  • An Active and Healthy Vale - Residents of the Vale of Glamorgan lead healthy lives and vulnerable people are protected and supported; and
  • An Inclusive and Safe Vale - Citizens of the Vale of Glamorgan have a good quality of life and feel part of the local community.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. The proposals in this report are in accordance with the policy framework and budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. No further consultation is proposed.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Social Care and Health.

Background Papers


Contact Officer

Suzanne Clifton, Head of Resource Management and Safeguarding

Officers Consulted

Director of Social Services

Interim Director of Public Health.

Responsible Officer

Lance Carver, Director of Social Services