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Little is known internationally about return to prison from in-patient psychiatric services, including: circumstances leading to return, aftercare services and subsequent patient outcomes.
To examine and describe: (a) circumstances leading to return to prison from medium secure services; (b) available aftercare and early outcomes of returned persons; and (c) implications for policy development.
Prospective cohort design with all patients (n = 96) returned to prisons from 33 National Health Service (NHS) medium secure services over a 6-month period in England and Wales. Follow-up was conducted for 1 year post-remittal, across 60 prisons.
Less than 20% of patients with legal entitlement to section 117 aftercare under the Mental Health Act 1983 were receiving care managed/delivered via the care programme approach. Subsequent pathways included: inter-prison transfer (30%), use of the Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork process (49%), referral to secure services (21%) and community release (30%). Less than half of community releases were referred to a community mental health team.
Findings suggest that persons returned to prison are a vulnerable group of patients, many of whom require intervention (e.g. enhanced monitoring, admission to a healthcare wing, readmission to secure mental health services) on return to prison in the absence of targeted aftercare services. More robust guidance for discharge and aftercare planning procedures for persons remitted to prison should be developed to ensure that the benefits of in-patient admission are maintained and that individuals’ legal rights to ongoing aftercare are upheld.
Individual- and area-level risk factors for suicide are relatively well-understood but the role of macro social factors such as alienation, social fragmentation or ‘anomie’ is relatively underresearched. Voting choice in the 2016 referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union (EU) provides a potential measure of anomie.
To examine associations between percentage ‘Leave’ votes in the EU referendum and suicide rates in 2015–2017, the period just prior to, and following, the referendum.
National cross-sectional ecological study of 315 English local authority populations. Associations between voting choice in the EU referendum and age-standardised suicide rates, averaged for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017, were examined.
Overall there was a weak, but statistically significant, positive correlation between the local authority-level percentage ‘Leave’ vote in 2016 and the suicide rate 2015–2017: Pearson's correlation coefficient, r = 0.17; P = 0.003. This relationship was explained by populations having an older age distribution, being more deprived and lacking ethnic diversity. However, there was divergence (likelihood ratio test for interaction, χ2 = 7.2, P = 0.007) in the observed associations between London and the provincial regions with Greater London having a moderately strong negative association (r = −0.40; P = 0.02) and the rest of England a weak positive association (r = 0.17; P = 0.004).
Deprivation, older age distribution and a lack of ethnic diversity seems to explain raised suicide risk in Brexit-voting communities. A greater sense of alienation among people feeling ‘left behind’/‘left out’ may have had some influence too, although multilevel modelling of individual- versus area-level data are needed to examine these complex relationships. The incongruent ecological relationship observed for London likely reflect its distinct social, economic and health context.
To investigate the spatial distribution of self-harm incidence rates, their socioeconomic correlates and sex/age differences using data on self-harm presentations to emergency departments from The Manchester Self-Harm Project (2003–2013).
Smoothed standardised incidence ratios for index self-harm episodes (n = 14 771) and their associations with area-level socioeconomic factors across 258 small areas (median population size = 1470) in the City of Manchester municipality were estimated using Bayesian hierarchical models.
Higher numbers and rates of self-harm were found in the north, east and far southern zones of the city, in contrast to below average rates in the city centre and the inner city zone to the south of the centre. Males and females aged 10–24, 25–44 and 45–64 years showed similar geographical patterning of self-harm. In contrast, there was no clear pattern in the group aged 65 years and older. Fully adjusted analyses showed a positive association of self-harm rates with the percentage of the unemployed population, households privately renting, population with limiting long-term illness and lone-parent households, and a negative association with the percentage of ethnicity other than White British and travel distance to the nearest hospital emergency department. The area-level characteristics investigated explained a large proportion (four-fifths) of the variability in area self-harm rates. Most associations were restricted to those aged under 65 years and some associations (e.g. with unemployment) were present only in the youngest age group.
The findings have implications for allocating prevention and intervention resources targeted at high-risk groups in high incidence areas. Targets for area-based interventions might include tackling the causes and consequences of joblessness, better treatment of long-term illness and consideration of the accessibility of health services.
Fatigue syndromes (FSs) affect large numbers of individuals, yet evidence from epidemiological studies on adverse outcomes, such as premature death, is limited.
Cohort study involving 385 general practices in England that contributed to the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) with linked inpatient Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) and Office for National Statistics (ONS) cause of death information. A total of 10 477 patients aged 15 years and above, diagnosed with a FS during 2000–2014, were individually matched with up to 20 comparator patients without a history of having a FS. Prevalence ratios (PRs) were estimated to compare the FS and comparison cohorts on clinical characteristics. Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for subsequent adverse outcomes were estimated from stratified Cox regression models.
Among patients diagnosed with FSs, we found elevated baseline prevalence of: any psychiatric illness (PR 1.77; 95% CI 1.72–1.82), anxiety disorders (PR 1.92; 1.85–1.99), depression (PR 1.89; 1.83–1.96), psychotropic prescriptions (PR 1.68; 1.64–1.72) and comorbid physical illness (PR 1.28; 1.23–1.32). We found no significant differences in risks for: all-cause mortality (HR 0.99; 0.91–1.09), natural death (HR 0.99; 0.90–1.09), unnatural death (HR 1.00; 0.59–1.72) or suicide (HR 1.68; 0.78–3.63). We did, however, observe a significantly elevated non-fatal self-harm risk: HR 1.83; 1.56–2.15.
The absence of elevated premature mortality risk is reassuring. The raised prevalence of mental illness and increased non-fatal self-harm risk indicate a need for enhanced assessment and management of psychopathology associated with fatigue syndromes.
We aimed to spatially describe mental illness prevalence in England at small-area geographical level, as measured by prevalence of depression, severe mental illness (SMI) and antidepressant prescription volume in primary care records, and how much of their variation was explained by deprivation, social fragmentation and sociodemographic characteristics.
Information on prevalence of depression and SMI was obtained from the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) administrative dataset for 2015/16 and the national dispensing dataset for 2015/16. Linear regression models were fitted to examine ecological associations between deprivation, social fragmentation, other sociodemographic characteristics and mental illness prevalence.
Mental illness prevalence varied within and between regions, with clusters of high prevalence identified across England. Our models explained 33.4–68.2% of variability in prevalence, but substantial variability between regions remained after adjusting for covariates. People in socially cohesive and socially deprived areas were more likely to be diagnosed with depression, while people in more socially fragmented and more socially deprived areas were more likely to be diagnosed with SMI.
Our findings suggest that to tackle mental health inequalities, attention needs to be targeted at more socially deprived localities. The role of social fragmentation warrants further investigation, and it is possible that depression remains undiagnosed in more socially fragmented areas. The wealth of routinely collected data can provide robust evidence to aid optimal resource allocation. If comparable data are available in other countries, similar methods could be deployed to identify high prevalence clusters and target funding to areas of greater need.
Pay-for-performance policies aim to improve population health by incentivising improvements in quality of care.
To assess the relationship between general practice performance on severe mental illness (SMI) and depression indicators under a national incentivisation scheme and suicide risk in England for the period 2006–2014.
Longitudinal spatial analysis for 32 844 small-area geographical units (lower super output areas, LSOAs), using population-structure adjusted numbers of suicide as the outcome variable. Negative binomial models were fitted to investigate the relationship between spatially estimated recorded quality of care and suicide risk at the LSOA level. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) were adjusted for deprivation, social fragmentation, prevalence of depression and SMI as well as other 2011 Census variables.
No association was found between practice performance on the mental health indicators and suicide incidence in practice localities (IRR=1.000, 95% CI 0.998–1.002). IRRs indicated elevated suicide risks linked with area-level social fragmentation (1.030; 95% CI 1.027–1.034), deprivation (1.013, 95% CI 1.012–1.014) and rurality (1.059, 95% CI 1.027–1.092).
Primary care has an important role to play in suicide prevention, but we did not observe a link between practices' higher reported quality of care on incentivised mental health activities and lower suicide rates in the local population. It is likely that effective suicide prevention needs a more concerted, multiagency approach. Better training in suicide prevention for general practitioners is also essential. These findings pertain to the UK but have relevance to other countries considering similar programmes.
The elevated risk of suicide in prison and after release is a well-recognised and serious problem. Despite this, evidence concerning community-based offenders' suicide risk is sparse. We conducted a population-based nested case–control study of all people in a community justice pathway in England and Wales. Our data show 13% of general population suicides were in community justice pathways before death. Suicide risks were highest among individuals receiving police cautions, and those having recent, or impending prosecution for sexual offences. Findings have implications for the training and practice of clinicians identifying and assessing suicidality, and offering support to those at elevated risk.
Suicide rates in Scotland have increased markedly relative to those in England in recent decades.
To compare changing patterns of suicide risk in Scotland with those in England & Wales, 1960–2008.
For Scotland and for England & Wales separately, we obtained national data on suicide counts and population estimates. Gender-specific, directly age-standardised rates were calculated.
We identified three distinct temporal phases: 1960–1967, when suicide rates in England & Wales were initially higher than in Scotland, but then converged; 1968–1991, when male suicide rates in Scotland rose slightly faster than in England & Wales; and 1992–2008, when there was a marked divergence in national trends. Much of the recent divergence in rates is attributable to the rise in suicide among young men and deaths by hanging in Scotland. Introduction of the ‘undetermined intent’ category in 1968 had a significant impact on suicide statistics across Great Britain, but especially so in Scotland.
Differences in temporal patterns in suicide risk between the countries are complex. Reversal of the divergent trends may require a change in the perception of hanging as a ‘painless' method of suicide.
Metric analysis of an excellently preserved Bison skull with horn cores recovered from a northern Florida river identifies the specimen as an evolutionarily late representative of Bison antiquus. A fragment of chert protrudes from the right fronto-parietal area of the skull. Radiocarbon and biostratigraphic dating place the age of the Bison at about 11,000 years, thereby documenting an association between the animal and Paleoindians. It is likely that the animal was killed and butchered adjacent to a now-inundated water hole.