PERFORMANCE: Somerset Partnership Foundation Trust’s key commissioner NHS Somerset reported to its December board that the mental health provider experienced a significant surge in deliberate patient self harm using ligatures between the first and second quarters of 2010-11.

In quarter one there were just over 20 reported incidents involving ligatures – a similar number of incidents reported in each of the previous two quarters. However in quarter two of 2010-11 (July to September) there were over 70 reported incidents.

The primary care trust report said the higher level of incidents in quarter two related to “particular patients” in the foundation trust’s Rydon ward and Orchard Lodge unit, the latter of which treats children and young people. The PCT said the Orchard Lodge unit had a high staffing level but that had now been increased further. Staff have also received training in patient risk assessment and screening and external advice has been given. The PCT said it had received a “positive report” on the foundation’s progress on the issue.