The rate of hospital admissions for self harming is almost three times greater in the North East of England than in London, official figures released yesterday have revealed.
The region reported 330 cases of self harm per 100,000 people compared to 114 cases per 100,000 in the capital over a 12-month period.
The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) figures also revealed that self harm admission rates across England generally had also increased slightly during the year.
Between August 2011 and August 2012, 110,960 people were admitted to hospital for incidents of self harm, including drug overdoses, an increase from 110,490 in the previous year.
The HSCIC said it recorded a 12 per cent rise in the number of people aged 55 to 59 who self harmed – with 4,250 people in the age group being admitted.
“Today’s figures show the impact of intentional self harm on our society and hospitals – where the result of somebody purposely damaging their body is so serious they need to be admitted to hospital,” said HSCIC chief executive Tim Straughan.
“However, these statistics do not include people who are dealt with solely in accident and emergency, or of course those who may self harm but are never treated in hospital. The figures point towards a very clear difference in admission rates per 100,000 population for self harm in some parts of the country, with the North East of England recording triple the rate of admissions according to population size than the capital.
“If we analyse patterns in admission by age; it appears there has been a fall in admissions for 15 to 19-year-olds, even though they still make up the biggest proportion of self harm cases coming through the hospital door.
“In contrast, the statistics point to an increase in admissions among older patients, in particular among patients aged 55 to 59”