The Centre for Self-harm and Suicide Prevention Research team only work during office hours and are unable to provide a treatment service or advice for those in crisis. If you are in crisis or feeling suicidal please visit our help in a mental health crisis page

The Centre for Self-harm and Suicide Prevention Research (CSSR) supports Trust staff and service users to lead on, collaborate or participate in a wide range of research studies around self-harm and suicidal behaviours.

Key projects

  • The CSSR team is involved in the Department of Health-funded Multicentre Study of Self-harm in England. Learn more on this below.
  • To increase the sharing of knowledge and experiences, we have set up the East Midlands Self-harm and suicide prevention Research Network (EM-SRN). It is a network and discussion forum for all professionals and organisations working with people in crisis who may self-harm or attempt suicide. Learn more on the EM-SRN page.
  • We also raise awareness about World Suicide Prevention Day each year. This campaign supports our Trust’s suicide prevention strategy . Learn more on the World Suicide Prevention Day page

The Centre for Self-harm and Suicide Prevention Research (CSSR) was officially launched in August 2013, in recognition of the Trust’s involvement in this area for many years. In collaboration with professionals, service users and the public, the CSSR team aims to:

  1. Increase understanding and awareness around experiences of distress and despair through good quality research and service evaluation      
  2. Embed research within clinical practice, conduct studies based upon real clinical need and feed research findings directly back into practice  
  3.  Inform procedures and policies on a local, national and international level       
  4. Help others provide the best evidence-based services possible.       

Derby Monitoring System for Self-Harm 

Royal Derby hospital The Derby Monitoring System for Self-Harm is an evaluation of services and is also part of the Multicentre Study of Self-harm in England research project. The monitoring system aims to improve understanding and care for people who self-harm. To do this we collect information about every attendance to the Royal Derby Hospital’s Emergency Department which is due to self-harm. Derbyshire Healthcare is the Data Controller. 


What is self-harm?

For the purposes of the study we define self-harm as follows:

  • It is a non-fatal act
  • It is done intentionally
  • It includes both self-poisoning (e.g. overdoses) and self-injury (eg. cutting)
  • It includes suicide attempts. 

Members of the hospital’s Liaison Team collect the information from hospital records and are responsible for it. The team members have been approved by Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and so are bound by the Trust’s promise to keep information confidential and safe.

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and the Department of Health fund the monitoring.

All the information collected is protected by strict guidelines governing service evaluation, research and the holding of personal information.  

We summarise the information we collect so that individuals cannot be identified. It tells us important information such as:

  • How many people come to hospital after harming themselves
  • What happens to those people when they come to hospital
  • The arrangements made to help people once they leave hospital
  • How many people come to hospital more than once following self-harm

We also link the information we collect with civil registration data held by NHS Digital. This is done securely and in line with strict legal and ethical guidelines.

Your Information, Your Rights 

For more details about how patient data is processed by Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, visit our data security page.

Monitoring of self-harm attendances to hospital began in Oxford in 1976, in Derby in 1991 and in Manchester in 1997. 

In 2006 Derby joined up with researchers in Oxford and Manchester to create the Multicentre Study of Self-harm in England.

The project is funded by the Department of Health and feeds into the National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England.

We collect data on everyone who presents to the Royal Derby Hospital emergency department following self-harm. We collect this data in order to monitor self-harm rates over time, and to investigate different aspects of self-harm behaviour in order to help improve patient care and policy.  

As part of our work we look at mortality in people who self-harm and to do this we securely share patient identifiable data with information services at NHS Digital. This data is linked to Civil Registration data, which can tell us whether the people we collect data on in Derby are still alive, if they have died, or if they have lost contact with the NHS – for example by leaving the country.

The monitoring of self-harm attendances in Derby complies with the Data Protection Act and NHS information governance procedures, and has a strong information security and management policy to ensure that any identifiable information we hold remains confidential and safe. Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is the data controller.

A limited amount of follow-up information is shared with similar self-harm monitoring projects based at the University of Oxford and the University of Manchester, as part of the Multicentre Study of Self-harm in England. We do share date of death and cause of death, but we do not share any, names, addresses, or date of birth for anyone we collect data on. Instead we use local study codes in our combined Multicentre Study data to link together data for each person.

If you have attended the emergency department at the Royal Derby Hospital for self-harm, and have any concerns about how your data is linked in the mortality follow-up, please get in touch. In addition, if you would like any more details about the nature and purpose of the local monitoring system or if you would like to opt out of either the Derby monitoring system or mortality follow up, please contact us:

By phone on 01332 623700 ext. 33681

By email:

Or, by post to The Centre for Self-harm and Suicide Prevention, Research and Development Centre, Derbyshire healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Kingsway Hospital, DERBY, DE22 3LZ.

Contacting the team

Whether you are already working in the field of self-harm and/or suicide prevention research or with people in crisis, please do get in touch to further discuss the work we are involved in or future collaborations.

Tel: 01332 623700, ext. 33681

Keith Waters

Director for the Centre of Self-harm and Suicide Prevention Research

Having worked as a mental health nurse and team lead in the Derby acute general hospital setting, Keith has over 25 years of clinical experience in Liaison psychiatry, self-harm and suicide prevention. He is joint lead for the Derby site of the Multicentre Study of self-harm in England; sits on the steering group for the National Suicide Prevention Alliance; and was awarded an Honorary Research Fellowship by the Trust in 2013. 

Jenny Ness 

Health Services Research Lead

Research Project Manager for Liaison Psychiatry and the Centre for Self-harm and Suicide Prevention Research at the Trust. Joint lead for the Derby site of the Multicentre Study of Self-harm in England.

Anita Patel

Multicentre Monitoring Research Assistant

MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology. Current research interests include: suicide, psychophysiology, self-harm and therapeutic alliance within inpatient settings.