About us

As the UK’s leading research programme into suicide prevention in clinical services, The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health has the overall aim of improving safety for all mental health patients.

We provide crucial evidence to support service and training improvements and, ultimately, to contribute to a reduction in patient suicide rates and an overall decrease in the national suicide rate.

Our core database is a national consecutive case series that:

  • Examines the circumstances leading up to and surrounding the deaths by suicide of people under the recent care of, or recently discharged from, specialist mental health services;
  • Identifies factors in the management and care of patients which may be related to suicide;
  • Recommends measures to reduce the number of suicides by people receiving specialist mental health care.

We also undertake studies into suicide prevention in the general population, and report on the incidence of homicide by people in contact with mental health services.

Our work is evolving

The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health was established at the University of Manchester in 1996.

In April 2018, our work programme changed. Our research into patient suicide continues and, in addition, our suicide programme increasingly focuses on people not in contact with mental health services.

We have reduced our homicide programme but continue to report the number of homicides by people in contact with mental health services. Our Sudden Unexplained Death study has ended.

Our funding and governance

The Mental Health Clinical Outcome Review Programme delivered by the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health is commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) on behalf of NHS England, NHS Wales, the Health and Social Care Division of the Scottish Government, the Northern Ireland Department of Health and the States of Jersey and Guernsey.

An Independent Advisory Group (IAG) for HQIP provides independent external oversight of the work of the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health. The IAG includes representatives from key stakeholder groups, and lay members.

IAG representatives

Mike Hunter (Chair), NHS England and NHS Improvement

Richard Bunn, Shannon Clinic Regional Forensic Unit, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Northern Ireland

Carolyn Chew-Graham, Keele Univeristy

Caroline Dollery, East of England Strategic Clinical Network for Mental Health Neurology and Learning Disability

Matt Downton, Mental Health and Vulnerable Groups Division, Welsh Government

Tasneem Hoosain, Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP)

Jane Ingham, Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP)

Ann John, Public Health Wales

Tim Kendall, NHS England

Karine Macritchie, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Sarah Markham, Lay member

Ian McMaster, Department of Health, Northern Ireland

Sian Rees, University of Oxford Health Experiences Institute, Department of Primary Care Sciences

Ben Thomas, NHS England

Tina Strack, Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP)


Centre for Mental Health and Safety

The NCISH is part of a multidisciplinary group of leading academics and clinicians with collaborative links within the University of Manchester. This group, the Centre for Mental Health and Safety, also includes the Manchester Self-Harm Project (MaSH), part of the Multicentre Study of Self-Harm in England, a long-running collaboration with two similar high-quality self-harm monitoring projects (based in Oxford and Derby) and recognised as the most reliable source of data on self-harm in England; the NIHR Greater Manchester Patient Safety Research Collaboration (PSRC) research theme Preventing Suicide and Self-Harm; and the Health and Justice Research Network (HJRN).

Our environmental commitment

We are committed to improving our environmental impact and mitigating the effects of climate change across our key activities. We have developed an environmental policy to support our staff to reduce their impact on the environment through sustainable travel, virtual meetings, and managing resources efficiently through reuse and recycling. 

Getting in touch

How to get in touch with us.

Meet the team

Find out more about our team.