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Self-harm: Children

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL9500, tabled on 12 July 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) boys, and (2) girls aged 17 years old or under have been admitted to hospital in England because of (a) self-harm, and (b) self-poisoning in the last ten years compared to the previous ten years.

Answered on

23 July 2018

The information is not available in the format requested. However, a table showing a count of finished admission episodes (FAEs) with a first recorded cause code of self-poisoning or self-harm for patients aged under 18 in England from 1997-98 to 2006-07 and 2007-08 to 2016-17 is attached due to the size of the data.

The attached data shows an increase in FAEs relating to self-harm in young people over this time period. FAEs show a count of activity rather than people, as a person may be admitted to hospital more than once.

However, the increases shown in the data should also be interpreted in the context of improving data collection and reporting and increasing knowledge, awareness of self-harming and empowerment of people to report self-harm.

For example, during the time period, the Hospital Episode Statistics dataset has improved the quality of its data and increased its coverage of activity to include the independent sector, which will be factors in the higher activity shown in later years. There have also been improvements in data recording in later years. We have also seen increased self-reporting of self-harm through other data collections such as the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey between 2014 and the previous report in 2007, which would support the assumption of increased knowledge and awareness and less stigma so that people feel more able to report self-harm.

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care