The VC has written to the Secretary of State for Health asking that he review the decision to withdraw funding of “The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health” (NCISH), a project which collects data and conducts research on suicide, homicide and sudden unexplained deaths of people who have been in contact with mental health services in the 12 months prior to the incident.

This data has allowed the NCISH to examine the antecedents of suicide and homicide by people under the recent care of specialist psychiatric services, identify factors in patient care which may have contributed to suicide or homicide, and recommend measures for clinical practice and policy designed to reduce the number of patient suicides and homicides.

NCISH will no longer continue to receive funding from NHS England to carry out data collection, analysis, and research on patient homicide, although the funding for collecting data on suicide will continue.

On behalf of the families bereaved by mental health homicides, I have asked for the funding to be reinstated. Not only will this help to prevent future homicides, but send a clear message to victims that their suffering matters every bit as much as that of patients.

Secretary of State for Health letter