House of Commons Health Committee advocates role for local scrutiny of suicide prevention plans
In December 2016, the Health Committee published an interim report on suicide prevention in order to inform the Government’s updated suicide prevention strategy. The Government subsequently published its update to the strategy in the form of a progress report. Witnesses told the Committee’s latest inquiry that the underlying strategy is essentially sound but that the key problem lies with inadequate implementation. 95% of local authorities now have a suicide prevention plan, but there is currently little or no information about the quality of those plans.
The Committee noted that there is a role for local scrutiny of implementation of suicide prevention plans in the first instance and considered that this local scrutiny could be a role for health overview and scrutiny committees within local authorities. The Committee has made a recommendation to Government that effective implementation of the suicide prevention plan in local areas should be a key role of health overview and scrutiny committees.