Ashtons Partner assists with national suicide prevention guide

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Ashtons Legal partner Sharon Allison has assisted The Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA) through contributing towards a guide to consent, confidentiality and information sharing in mental healthcare and suicide prevention.

Sharon has specialised for the past decade in medical injury cases involving failures in mental healthcare and, as a result, has extensive experience in representing families at inquests. Steve Mallen, co-founder of the ZSA and a main contributor to this report, instructed Sharon throughout the legal process following the tragic death of his 18-year-old son Edward.

The sharing of information in regards to consent and confidentiality is a complex aspect of mental healthcare. Many practitioners may feel they are not adequately trained in this aspect of their patients’ care. A 2018 report by NHS Resolution identified the failure to share information as one of the most commonly recurring themes in deaths by suicide.

Recognising scenarios in which the sharing of an individual’s confidential information between agencies, families and carers in order to prevent serious harm is vitally important. This government approved guide aims to help practitioners have a clear understanding of, and be able to confidently decide, when it’s appropriate to share information in order to protect an individual’s life.

The full report can be found here.

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