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Volume 473: debated on Thursday 13 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many recorded self-harm incidents there were in England in each of the last five years, broken down by (a) age group, (b) sex and (c) constituency; and if he will make a statement. (192567)

The data are not available in the requested format.

Deliberate self-harm (DSH) results in about 170,000 attendances at accident and emergency departments in the United Kingdom annually, with more than 140,000 of these being in England and Wales. DSH is one of the top five causes of acute medical admission, and is the most common reason for medical admission of females and the second most common reason for males. Approximately two thirds of DSH patients are under 35 years old.

Hospital episode statistics record the number of finished consultant episodes of people who have been admitted in national health service hospitals with a primary diagnosis of injury and poisoning. Since a high proportion of these records do not record an external cause of injury or poisoning, such as deliberate self-harm, it is not possible to ascertain the total number of self-harm admissions accurately.