HC Deb 12 February 2004 vol 417 cc1679-80W
Mr. Rosindell

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on anti-ligature policies for standard NHS environments. [154422]

Ms Rosie Winterton

Following the Chief Medical Officer's report 'An Organisation with a Memory', a Department of Health directive was issued requiring all local mental health services to remove all non-collapsible bed and shower curtain rails in all in-patient settings. This has now been achieved.

The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness made a number of recommendations that included a requirement that all in-patient wards should remove or cover all likely ligature points. The Department of Health supports these recommendations and has published a toolkit to help local mental health services implement them.

Finally, the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) plays a key role in bringing patient safety to a national level, enabling the entire National Health Service to learn from incidents and make itself safer.

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