Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting WO to 80360, or email us
Teenagers self harming hospital admissions rise at Watford General Hospital
The number of cases of self-harming teenagers being treated at Watford General Hospital has nearly doubled in the last two years - while drug and alcohol abuse incident figures have fallen.
Last year 74 were admitted to the hospital's A&E department with deliberate injuries, a rise of 33 on the 2010/11 figure of 41.
During that period, teenage ‘alcohol ingestion’ instances more than halved from 69 last year to just 31 two years earlier, and drug abuse cases also fell from 79 in 2010/11 to 68 last year.
The figures were discussed in a West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust (WHHT) report last month which said that the ‘number of children presenting with self-harm has increased by 80 per cent over the last two years. Increasing rates of teenage self-harm is a nationally recognised problem.’
The report also said: ‘This information has been shared with Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Board and we have recommended that specific action is taken to address this rapidly increasing trend.
‘Although the number of referrals relating to drug and alcohol abuse has reduced, self-harm relating to cutting and other self-harm behaviours has increased.’
The report also added that the ‘total number of referrals for the under-16s made at Watford General Hospital during the last 12 months (555) compared with the previous year (570)’ was ‘a drop of 2.7 per cent’.
A spokesman for Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Board said: "The concern regarding self-harm has been raised with the board and as an immediate response we released additional support and guidance on our website (www.hertssafeguarding.org.uk) for practitioners.
"In addition, we have reviewed our policy on self-harm behaviour with an expert core group and are organising further training for front-line practitioners."
In a statement, WHHT said: "The data included in the report is collated as a result of treating the patients. However, we work closely with our partners to ensure our patients receive the appropriate support both in hospital and when they are discharged."
Comments are closed on this article.