The Centre for Self-harm and Suicide Prevention Research (CSSR) was launched in 2013, in recognition of the significant level of local activity undertaken in the area over many years. In collaboration with clinical professionals, service users and the public, the centre works to:

  1. Increase understanding and awareness around experiences of distress and despair through good quality research, service evaluation and quality improvement. 
  2. Embed research activity within routine clinical practice, conduct studies based upon current clinical need, and facilitate the implementation of research findings into practice.  
  3. Inform clinical care procedures and policies on a local, national, and international level.

A key research focus of the centre, is the monitoring and research of self-harm related emergency department attendances in Derby and England. 

Derby monitoring study of self-harm

Royal Derby hospital The Derby Monitoring system of 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 are the Data Controllers. 


  • 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. 

The aim of this research is to conduct a series of studies on the epidemiology, clinical management, outcome and prevention of self-harm and suicide.

Local data analysis seeks to better understand Derby’s population needs around self-harm, to evaluate and inform local care provision and strategic approaches to the prevention of self-harm and suicide.

Through the Multicentre collaboration, the research provides representative and reliable data on self-harm in England. 

The project consists of three research centres: The University of Oxford, the University of Manchester and Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation trust. The project is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care.

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, which focuses on numerous aspects of self-harm attendances to the Emergency Department including epidemiology, trends, and outcomes of self-harm. 

Study findings contribute to the National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England (2002, 2012), policies and guidelines, including NICE guidance on self-harm (2004, 2011, 2022). The Study has been named the number one source of reliable self-harm data in England (Public Health England, 2014).

For more information please visit:

The findings from the Derby Monitoring system and the Multicentre Study of self-harm are summarised in written reports. These reports are published in health journals and given to interested parties such as local health services and the Department of Health. The information in the reports is summarised and anonymous, so no individual is identifiable from the data. A copy of these reports is available on request.

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

We collect data on gender, age, ethnicity, employment status, method of self-harm, previous self-harm and whether a person is currently receiving any mental healthcare. We also collect information around what factors may have contributed to the self-harm and the clinical care people receive whilst they are in the hospital.  

This 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 look at mortality in people who come to the emergency department following self-harm. To do this, we securely share patient identifiable data with NHS Digital. NHS Digital link our data with Civil Registration data, which can tell us whether people are still alive, if they have died, or if they have lost contact with the NHS – for example by leaving the country.

There are two main ways data is collected for the study. If the person was assessed by the hospital’s psychiatric liaison team, then the assessing clinician will complete a study specific form when they are recording their assessment notes within the electronic patient record system. If the person was not assessed, then core data (sex, age, date of birth, method of self-harm and data of episode) will be collected from the emergency department patient record system by the study team.

All study team members are employed and trained by Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and are bound by the Trust’s promise to keep information confidential and safe.

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

In order to track people and episodes of self-harm over time each person who presents at the Royal Derby hospital following self-harm is assigned a unique patient ID, and each self-harm episode is assigned a unique ID. Both IDs are automatically generated electronically and are not related to any identifiable data.  

All the information collected is protected by strict guidelines governing service evaluation, research and the holding of personal information. The Derby Monitoring Study of Self-harm has Health Research Authority approval (IRAS:268714) and Research Ethics Committee Approval (REC ref 06/Q2401/84). The study also has approval under Section 251 of the NHS Act (2006) to collect patient identifiable data without patient consent (Confidentiality Advisory Group, 19/CAG/0135).  

A limited amount of follow-up information is shared with sister self-harm monitoring projects 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 the unique patient ID codes in our combined Multicentre Study data to link together data for each person.

Please see the patient information leaflets below for more information: 

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

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. 

Derby Monitoring Study Team

Here are some of the key individuals involved in the study:

Core Team

woman smiling  Jenny Ness, Derby Monitoring Study Chief Investigator, Multicentre Study of Self-harm Principal Investigator 


man smiling Keith Waters, Derby Monitoring Study Investigator, Multicentre Study of Self-harm Co-Investigator



 Akinsola Asaolu, Derby Monitoring Study Senior Research Assistant, Multicentre Study of Self-harm Senior Research Assistant

 Harriet Atkinson, Derby Monitoring Study Senior Research Assistant, Multicentre Study of Self-harm Senior Research Assistant

Associated Teams

  • DHCFT Psychiatric Liaison Team (South)


Published Studies 

For a list of references on RefWorks, please visit the page here

Contact Information

  • Telephone: 01332 980139
  • Email:
  • Post: The Centre for Self-harm and Suicide Prevention, Research and Development Centre, Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Kingsway Hospital, DERBY, DE22 3LZ.

The research team are unable to provide a treatment service or advice for those in crisis. If you are in crisis or feeling suicidal there are different sources of support you can access. You can contact your GP, call the 24/7 Derbyshire MH Helpline on 0800 028 007 , call the Samaritans (UK telephone number 116 123 free from a mobile or landline), or you can share how you are feeling and any problems you are facing with a friend or colleague. For more information: Help in a mental health crisis :: Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (