More people affected by violence will be helped after a pioneering A&E scheme was awarded funding to expand by the Scottish Government.
The hospital-based Navigator programme is to receive a further £140,000 to extend their service to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow and Crosshouse Hospital in South Ayrshire. The expansion follows the success of the scheme which is already in operation at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.
Navigator is run by the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit in association with Medics Against Violence and the NHS. The violence intervention programme is the only initiative of its kind in the UK. Based within the emergency departments of hospitals navigators seek to identify patients affected by violence. The teams provide support, help to diffuse difficult situations and connect patients with services which can assist them with a range of issues including addiction, mental health problems and domestic violence.
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson announced the funding ahead of an address to 60 cyclists embarking on a charity bike ride in aid of the Navigators’ Running on Empty Fund on Thursday, May 31st at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
He said: “Violent crime in Scotland has nearly halved over the last decade but there remains a small number of victims who experience a high proportion of such crimes.
“Navigators do a remarkable job dealing sensitively and compassionately with people who are injured and distressed – helping them make steps towards turning their lives around, breaking away from the cycle of violence – and I am pleased to be able to fund their expansion.
“In less than two years this unique programme has offered support to more than 900 people, as well as reassuring emergency department staff that patients who come through their doors will receive a listening ear and practical support as well as the medical treatment they need.”
David Chung, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at NHS Ayrshire & Arran added: “We are really pleased to welcome the Navigator scheme to University Hospital Crosshouse and look forward to it making a positive difference for patients and staff alike. The support that the Navigators can offer is invaluable and has been shown as literally life-changing in many cases.”
Inspector Keith Jack, Navigator project lead, said: “Thanks to this additional funding from the Scottish Government the Navigators will be able to help more people break free from the cycle of violence. We work closely with our dedicated NHS colleagues in Glasgow and Edinburgh to support those affected by violence towards a safer and healthier future. Often people just need a helping hand to make changes which benefit them, their families and their communities. We're looking forward to joining the hard working medical teams at Queen Elizabeth and Crosshouse hospitals. Together we can help navigate people towards a better life.”
Dr Christine Goodall from Navigator's partners Medics Against Violence said: " Evaluation of the programme so far has been very positive with Navigators supporting nearly a thousand people since its inception. We know that many of those we've engaged with are now living more positive lives having been empowered to make changes to their lifestyle with Navigator’s support. Emergency department staff know that the complex social issues patients often present with can now be addressed through the Navigator service, this, alongside the fantastic medical care they provide is a great example of holistic and patient centred care.”
Further information about the Navigator scheme can be found on the SVRU website http://www.actiononviolence.org.uk/projects/navigator