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Project #99:
Suicide deaths after healthcare contact in primary care

  • Type: Audit
  • Topic areas: Post-COVID health impacts [e.g. long COVID], Other/indirect impacts of COVID on health/healthcare

Prevention of suicide deaths is a national priority for NHS England and Improvement. Analysing data on suicide deaths to understand what contact with healthcare took place in the days before they completed suicide will help us find opportunities to improve suicide prevention. Around a quarter of people who die by suicide are known to specialist mental health services, but many others may have been in contact with their GP or other primary care services.

Studies show that survivors of COVID-19 infection are at increased risk of developing mental health disorders, but additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to changes to daily living and social restrictions, contributing to decline in mental health and well-being of the general population. COVID-19 also affected how people accessed healthcare.

This analysis is part of wider analysis on suicide deaths following contact with healthcare services, which will help to shape future suicide prevention improvement programmes. OpenSafely data will be used to examine suicide deaths following contact with GP or primary care services at a national level.


  • Study leads: Hassan Ismail
  • Organisation: NHS England and NHS Improvement