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Fall in suicide rates for mental health inpatients

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Mental health inpatient suicides fell from 219 to 141 (36%) between 1997 and 2006, research has revealed.

Death by hanging and strangulation fell from 54 to 28 (48%), with no patient deaths from fixed curtain rails since 2003 after a 2002 NHS directive called for them to be removed from wards.

The National Patient Safety Agency-funded report by Manchester University also examined fatal attacks by mentally ill people, which increased from 76 in 1997 to 125 in 2005 (65%).

Although the number of homicides in mental health care setting remained static, the increase was attributed to mentally ill people commiting homicide outside of mental health care settings.

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