It is essential for anyone working in cases that examine the appropriateness of care provided to those who self-harm to be aware of the proposed NICE guidelines that are presently open for consultation. A copy can be accessed here.

The draft guidelines cover issues around the assessment, management and prevention of recurrence of self-harming behaviour and will be applicable to persons with mental health problems, neurodevelopmental disorders and learning disabilities.

The intention is that the guideline will update previous guidelines and will mark the first review of such for over ten years.

The recommendations in the draft guidelines apply to organisations who are commonly involved in dealing with individuals who have self-harmed including health and social care commissioners, providers and professionals, but will also apply beyond these sectors to the criminal justice system education providers.

Self-harm can occur in any setting and the increasing numbers of children and adolescents who harm is alarming. With proposed increased guidance for anyone who is not a mental health specialist to organise a psycho-social assessment as soon as possible, the desire is to try and capture those at risk as early as possible to ensure that they receive the care and support that they need.

The consultation will run until 1 March 2022 with the new guidelines expected to be published at the end of June 2022.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.