Fifteen-minute consultation: safety assessment prior to discharge of patient admitted for self-harm

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Paediatricians often admit young people who have self-harmed, as advised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines. A full psychosocial assessment is essential to understand the underlying needs and risks. In this paper we focus on what the discharging doctor needs to know to arrange for a safe discharge. This involves reviewing the admission notes for red flags. We also give advice on the verbal and non-verbal communication skills needed to contain both the doctor's and the patient's difficult feelings.

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