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Funding for violence reduction project

Published: 12 Aug 2016 11:00
Part of:
Law and order

Flagship hospital-based Navigator programme extended.

A successful violence reduction project based at a busy Glasgow hospital emergency department is being extended to Edinburgh.

The Navigator programme at Glasgow Royal Infirmary helps patients who have been the victims or perpetrators of violence to make the changes they need to improve their lives.

The Scottish Government is providing £70,000 funding to extend the flagship project, run by the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

Less than a third of emergency department patients who are victims of violence report the incident to the police. The Navigator programme uses a brief window of opportunity when a patient has been admitted to hospital to diffuse difficult situations, identify the services that could help to change their life and help them access those services.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson visited the emergency department of Glasgow Royal Infirmary to meet staff and announce the new funding.

He said: "This successful programme will be extended to another major Scottish hospital, meaning this unique and tailored approach will be offered to even more people.

"The Navigators I met today do a remarkable job dealing sensitively with people who are injured and distressed, often defusing situations which could lead to further harm. There are many people who struggle to break the cycle of violence that destroys lives without the right support. This is where the Navigators can make a real difference, by speaking to people when they are at their most vulnerable and offering support."

Director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, Karyn McCluskey, said:

"The Navigators provide a critical role in enabling us to interact with people who may be extremely vulnerable and far from traditional services. Some may experience a range of emotions including anger, confusion, and perhaps a need for revenge.

"Our Navigators interrupt that cycle of violence, prevent further assaults and navigate people to services that enable them to better outcomes. They work the most unsociable hours, because that is when we meet people most in need. The exceptional NHS staff within our ED Departments are critical to the process and have been instrumental in weaving the service into better patient outcomes."

Alastair Ireland, clinical director in emergency medicine at Glasgow Royal Infirmary said: "We know that there are often a good opportunities while victims of violence are in the ED to take time to really talk with them about breaking out of the cycle of violence and many are actually keen to do this.

"However, time pressures within the ED usually mean that doctors and nurses are simply unable devote the necessary time for this. The Navigators not only take the time to engage in a meaningful and positive way within the ED, hospital wards and later in the community, but have the added expertise of excellent links with local organisations best able to provide ongoing support."

Jim Crombie, Acting Chief Executive, NHS Lothian, said:

"We are thrilled that the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh is being picked as the second site in Scotland to trial the Navigator scheme.

"We are confident that the scheme will bring real benefit to the lives of patients and to patient care, and improve the environment for staff, visitors and patients. It will also help boost staff morale to see another level of support being provided, especially to those patients who would not have otherwise had access to this level of help."