Johanna Langheld

Dear University of Greenwich,

I am requesting information pertaining to all serious incident investigations involving the health, wellbeing or welfare of one or more students - a ‘serious incident’ being an adverse event, with significant harmful or potentially harmful consequences, and/or where the effectiveness of the university response is likely to have a significant impact on the health, wellbeing or welfare of a student, their family and/or the community.

The need for a serious incident report is specifically recognised in UUK’s Suicide-Safer Universities (2018) guidance.

It would be most useful, if your reply could be comprehensive. The key factor in all cases is that the University conducted a serious incident investigation. It is not limited to serious incident investigations following the death of a student, or a student suicide, or conducted after a mental health incident (such as attempted suicide, near misses, parasuicide, and non-suicidal self-injury), and whether in University owned property or not. Additionally, if you have records regarding students who were no longer registered with the University, but where you still carried out such an investigation, that information would also be of interest.
If you could provide the relevant numbers, subdivided according to any of the above and/or other categories, that would be extremely helpful.

So, for each of the academic periods 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21:
a) How many serious incident investigations has the University of Greenwich conducted?
b) How many serious incident reports were produced?
c) How many serious incidents involved a fatality?
d) How many serious incident reports and/or their findings has the University of Greenwich shared with other institutions?
e) How many serious incident reports and/or their findings have other institutions shared with you?

In the case of (d) and (e), please specify the different types of institution that were involved in the sharing e.g., other university, UUK, NHS, PHE, Mental Health Trust, OfS, DfE, etc
Yours sincerely

Johanna Langheld

Lucy Fincham, University of Greenwich

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Langheld

 

In response to your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, to give you some information: whenever there is a
safeguarding incident, or an incident that requires a risk assessment, the
University of Greenwich Wellbeing team convenes appropriate colleagues to
discuss and formulate an action plan of next steps. Any student giving
cause for concern is discussed on at least a weekly basis and meetings are
convened.  We could provide figures for this data for 2018-19, 2019-20 and
2020 to date, if this is information that you would find helpful. Please
clarify if you would be interested in receiving this.

 

Please find attached our Students Giving Cause for Concern policy, the
redacted version which has had personal contact details removed.

 

If you are interested in student suicides, we have Death of a Student
procedures. Extract from this:

 

“4.0 Procedures where a student has, or it is thought that they have died
by suicide

 

Please see Appendix 4 Postvention Support at Greenwich

 

Appendix 4 Postvention Support at Greenwich

 

Procedures where a student has, or it is thought that they have died by
suicide

A death by suicide in our community can have wide reaching effects.
Furthermore there is a risk that the death of one of our community by
suicide may trigger suicidal thoughts and behaviours in others. When the
University is advised or it is suspected that a student has died by
suicide there are therefore some additional considerations and procedures
that colleagues need to be aware of.

 

Information on who to contact in the first instance remains as at page 6
of this procedures document, this includes out of hours information. All
instances where it is thought that there has been a death by suicide must
be reported as swiftly as possible using these channels.   Any
communications concerning the death of a student where a student has, or
it is thought that they have died by suicide must be formally agreed as
per the section on communications below.

 

It may be some time before an official cause of death is registered and
the University may never be advised of the outcome of any decision made by
a doctor, coroners report or inquest, therefore we need to be mindful of
this when we are considering how best we communicate and advise.

Where it is established that a person has died by suicide the University
will use the terms died by suicide and taken their own life, we will not
use the term committed suicide as this implies that a crime has been
committed, which is not the case.

 

Postvention team

Postvention is a response to a suicide by providing support and assistance
for those affected. Effective support and assistance can also be critical
in reducing the risk of further suicides from happening.

 

In order to ensure that a consistent and managed approach is taken a
postvention team will be established and led by one of the following: The
Head of Student Wellbeing; The Assistant Director of Student and Academic
Services (Student Services) or the Director of Student and Academic
Services. The team lead will also contact the University Secretary or
their nominee to see if the Emergency Response Procedures need to be put
in place. Where a death has taken place in University Halls of Residence
the Head of Accommodation Services or their nominee will also be part of
the postvention team.

 

The postvention team lead will bring together colleagues as appropriate
who will have a defined responsibility as at Appendix 2.

 

The post intervention team lead will ensure that:

•              Bereaved persons are contacted, and that support is offered

•              Effected Students and staff are offered support

•              Opportunity to remember the deceased is provided in
consultation with those that have been affected and will coordinate
appropriate university forums for doing so

•              That a review is undertaken

 

Communications

Any communications must be formally agreed first. To do this colleagues
must contact the Director of Student Experience in their Faculty or in
their absence the Director of Learning and Teaching who will consult
closely with the Director of Student & Academic Services, the University
Secretary, the Chief Operating Officer and the Head of Communications or
their respective nominees. This will enable us to provide information to
the different groups who may have been affected consistently, swiftly and
appropriately including how to access support using established pathways
and enable us to manage any external communications and enquiries.

 

Useful Resources

Suicide Safer Universities
[1]https://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/policy-...

 

Your questions:

 

for each of the academic periods 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21:

a) How many serious incident investigations has the University of
Greenwich conducted?
Please see the information we have provided above. Can you clarify whether
you are interested in students giving cause for concern figures.

b) How many serious incident reports were produced?
Please see above.

c) How many serious incidents involved a fatality?
There have been a very small number of suspected suicides over the last
few years, although these have not been confirmed either by a coroner or
family member.

d) How many serious incident reports and/or their findings has the
University of Greenwich shared with other institutions?
None that we are aware of.

e) How many serious incident reports and/or their findings have other
institutions shared with you?
None that we are aware of.

In the case of (d) and (e), please specify the different types of
institution that were involved in the sharing e.g., other university, UUK,
NHS, PHE, Mental Health Trust, OfS, DfE, etc
N/a

 

If you are unhappy with this response, please detail your complaints in
writing and send to the University Secretary, Peter Garrod, University of
Greenwich, Park Row, London SE10 9LS
([2][email address]).

 

If you are still not happy with our response after this internal review
has taken place, you also have a right of appeal to the Information
Commissioner at: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water
Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF ([3]www.ico.org.uk).

 

Yours sincerely

 

Lucy Fincham

Information Compliance Manager

Governance & Compliance

Vice-Chancellor’s Office

University of Greenwich

 

Email: [4][email address]

 

 

From: Johanna Langheld <[FOI #735178 email]>
Sent: 10 March 2021 15:36
To: compliance <[University of Greenwich request email]>
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Freedom of Information request - Serious Incident
Statistics

 

This message originated from outside the University. Treat links and
attachments with caution.

Dear University of Greenwich,

I am requesting information pertaining to all serious incident
investigations involving the health, wellbeing or welfare of one or more
students - a ‘serious incident’ being an adverse event, with significant
harmful or potentially harmful consequences, and/or where the
effectiveness of the university response is likely to have a significant
impact on the health, wellbeing or welfare of a student, their family
and/or the community.

The need for a serious incident report is specifically recognised in UUK’s
Suicide-Safer Universities (2018) guidance.

It would be most useful, if your reply could be comprehensive. The key
factor in all cases is that the University conducted a serious incident
investigation. It is not limited to serious incident investigations
following the death of a student, or a student suicide, or conducted after
a mental health incident (such as attempted suicide, near misses,
parasuicide, and non-suicidal self-injury), and whether in University
owned property or not. Additionally, if you have records regarding
students who were no longer registered with the University, but where you
still carried out such an investigation, that information would also be of
interest.

If you could provide the relevant numbers, subdivided according to any of
the above and/or other categories, that would be extremely helpful.

So, for each of the academic periods 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21:

a) How many serious incident investigations has the University of
Greenwich conducted?

b) How many serious incident reports were produced?

c) How many serious incidents involved a fatality?

d) How many serious incident reports and/or their findings has the
University of Greenwich shared with other institutions?

e) How many serious incident reports and/or their findings have other
institutions shared with you?

In the case of (d) and (e), please specify the different types of
institution that were involved in the sharing e.g., other university, UUK,
NHS, PHE, Mental Health Trust, OfS, DfE, etc

Yours sincerely

Johanna Langheld

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