About the Study​

What are we hoping to achieve? ​

The ASsuRED study aims to understand how to best to support patients who attend the Emergency Department with self-harm. We have developed an intervention, and if it is effective, it may be rolled out in Emergency Departments across England.

Who is it for?​

The study aims to support patients who self-harm. This means individuals who have attended the Emergency Department for the first time, as well as those who may attend more often. We will provide staff training in therapeutic assessment, safety planning and follow up support using solutions focused approaches. By providing staff with training in techniques shown to best support these patients, as well as supervision, we hope to support staff to feel better equipped to offer high quality care to people presenting in distress. Finally, we hope to create a more efficient means of supporting patients in crisis and to reduce reattendance to the Emergency Department, which will lead to cost-saving for the NHS.

What is the timeline for the study?

ASsuRED is a five-year project which began in May 2019. It consists of six Work Packages.

  • Work Package 1

    May 2019 – January 2020

    We developed the intervention, drawing on international evidence, feedback from stakeholders, co-creation workshops and analysis of videos of footage in current practice in the Emergency Department.

  • Work Package 2

    Feb 2020 – October 2020

    We are piloting the intervention in four Emergency Departments. We are seeking feedback from patients, practitioners and carers, and this will allow us to further refine the intervention.

  • Work Package 3

    February 2020 – January 2021

    We are working with Binary Vision, an award-winning digital learning company, to create a high-quality training package. ​This training package will be used to train practitioners in the randomised controlled trial. 

  • Work Package 4

    July 2020 – Jan 2021

    We will carry out preparatory work to extract data from hospital IT systems, which will be used to measure outcomes of people participating in the randomised controlled trial.

  • Work Package 5

    February 2021 – November 2023

    We will conduct a cluster randomised controlled trial in 10 hospitals, to test the clinical and cost effectiveness of the intervention in the Emergency Department context compared with treatment as usual.

  • Work Package 6

    May 2019 – April 2024

    We will disseminate the findings from the study and will explore how the intervention can be rolled out in Emergency Departments and other contexts.

What outcomes will be assessed?​

We will assess whether the intervention leads to reduced re-attendance to the Emergency Department for self-harm, by comparing re-attendance in those participants who have received the intervention with those who receive treatment as usual. We will also measure other outcomes including emotional wellbeing, quality of life and satisfaction with the care received.

Who funds the study?​

The study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Programme Grants for Applied Research programme (Ref: RP-PG-0617-20004).