Prescribing Advice for GPs

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NICE Guidance - November 2011

The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published new guidance for the month of November 2011. This month there is one clinical guideline that impacts upon primary care.

The self-harm (longer term management) clinical guideline (PDF) covers the longer-term psychological treatment and management of both single and recurrent episodes of self-harm.

The following key priority areas for implementation are recommended:

  • aim to develop a trusting, supportive and engaging relationship with people who self-harm
  • be aware of the stigma and discrimination sometimes associated with self-harm, both in the wider society and the health service, and adopt a non-judgemental approach
  • ensure that people are fully involved in decision-making about their treatment and care
  • aim to foster people's autonomy and independence wherever possible
  • maintain continuity of therapeutic relationships wherever possible
  • ensure that information about episodes of self-harm is communicated sensitively to other team members

Care plans are also recommended with the aim of reducing escalation or harm arising from self-harm, reducing or stopping self-harm and other risk-related behaviours and improving quality of life. It is suggested that these plans are reviewed at least annually and shared with GPs.

Action: Clinicians should be aware of this guideline and ensure that key priority areas are implemented.

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