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Suicidal acts on underground railway networks are an area of public health concern. Our aim was to review recent epidemiological patterns of suicidal acts on the London Underground to inform future preventive interventions. Data from 2000 to 2010 were obtained from the British Transport Police via a Freedom of Information request.
The mean annual rate of suicidal acts from 2000 to 2010 was 5.8 per 100 million passenger journey stages. Of those who died by suicide, 77.3% were of White Northern European ethnicity. A fifth had a history of mental illness.
The widening gap between the number of recorded suicide attempts and completed suicides is encouraging. Further research is required regarding the role of drug and alcohol use, psychiatric history and area of residence. Installation of platform screen doors should be considered in future railway network expansion.
To compare admission rates and bed occupancy before and after the introduction of community treatment orders (CTOs) in 37 assertive outreach service patients. The effect of CTOs on treatment adherence and illicit drug use were also evaluated. The views of patients and care coordinators were obtained through a focus group.
When CTOs were introduced, admission rates fell from 3.3 to 0.3 per year and average bed occupancy declined from 133.2 to 10.8 days per year. Treatment adherence improved from 4 (10.8%) to 31 (83.7%) patients, and an objective reduction in substance misuse was observed in 25 (67.5%) patients. Whereas patients expressed ambivalence towards CTOs, their care coordinators generally had a more positive view.
The decline in hospital usage following the introduction of CTOs is encouraging and could reflect improved adherence and engagement through intensive case management, leading to a reduction in readmissions. However, further studies need to look at quality of life, cost-effectiveness and the impact on patients.