Over the last ten years PH has seen a small number of our patients die by suicide or sudden accidental death. Thankfully this is a relatively rare event but we recognise the huge impact this has on the families, friends, colleagues and patients of the clinician. It also has a deep impact on us as a team.
We know that around the world many doctors do feel distressed, anxious and experience a range of negative emotions related to their life and work. Some will contemplate suicide, but hopefully will find the support they need.
Sadly others do not and do take their own lives.
We want to ensure that these lives are not forgotten and that we remember all that these clinicians were in life and the impact they had on those around them. With this in mind we are creating a “Memory List” of those who have died so that we can continue to remember them. We do not yet know how we will use this list and in what format we can share it but are open to suggestions.
NHS Employee suicide – a postvention toolkit
This toolkit is designed to help NHS organisations to develop and implement a process to manage the impact of an employee suicide on colleagues. Advice here may also be adapted to support those in the workforce who lose a family member or close friend to suicide. You may find the toolkit useful when supporting colleagues after a sudden death of any cause. It has been informed by real experiences of colleagues across the NHS
Sudden death of doctors in training - Health Education England
The death of any individual is distressing, this is even more so when the death is unexpected or deliberate, as in suicide. Postgraduate Deans have a responsibility and duty of care to doctors in training.
Bereavement support during COVID-19
Our NHS People have provided guidance and support following the loss of a colleague, friend or family member during the Coronavirus pandemic. NHS England and NHS Improvement have put together a suite of resources that aim to help you access support during what will be a difficult time for our staff, given the restrictions and changes to normal grieving patterns and processes for staff who come from diverse backgrounds.
Responding to the death by suicide of a colleague in primary care: A positive framework
"Death by suicide is thankfully an uncommon event in General Practice – but what happens when it is one of your own? How do individuals and practices cope, and what support should be available to help them through the difficult time following the death by suicide of a member of the practice team? Building on the experiences of individuals who have been through this devastating scenario, this new report describes the difficulties faced and presents a framework of actions. It highlights several challenges for those diverse organisations who commission, represent and support practices, and who should be able to assist, for both the short and long term. These challenges must be addressed."
Dr Alex Freeman, General Practitioner and Chair, The Louise Tebboth Foundation
Samaritans is designed to help give NHS staff someone to talk to in the event of suicidal thoughts.
Contact: 0800 069 6222
Practical steps in the event of a staff death.
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