Scottish government expands violence reduction service

Humza Yousaf

Tayside patients affected by violent and chaotic lifestyles are being offered help and support when appearing at A&E following the expansion of a ground-breaking project to Ninewells Hospital.

The Navigator service connects vulnerable patients with support services that can help address their needs including addiction, mental health problems and all forms of violence, including domestic abuse.

The service, run by the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit and Medics Against Violence, has helped almost 2,000 people to date in other areas of Scotland since its inception in 2015.

Officially launching the service, Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “While there is less crime and fewer victims than a decade ago, there remains a small number of people who experience a disproportionate level of repeat incidents of violence. We are determined to do more to support these individuals and the Navigator service has a vital part to play in reducing the impact of violence.

“Navigators do a remarkable job, helping to support people often living in difficult circumstances, to receive support that can truly be life changing. Their interventions in emergency departments have a massive impact on the individual and also benefit their families and the wider community.

“The bespoke and personal approach taken by Scotland’s Navigators ensures that some of the most vulnerable patients within emergency departments can get access to the help and support that is right for them. I am delighted to see this service extended to Ninewells where our Navigators can make a real difference.”

Director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, Niven Rennie, said: “We already know Navigator plays an important part in helping people break free from the cycle of violence by supporting patients and NHS staff and then acting as a bridge to life changing services.

“We are delighted that Navigator has now been established in six Emergency Departments across the country and are excited about the expansion into Dundee. With the backing of NHS Tayside we look forward to supporting patients, their families and their communities to live lives free from violence and the effects of violence.”

NHS Tayside chief executive Grant Archibald said: “The Navigators are already proving to be a very valuable addition to our high-performing Emergency Department team at Ninewells.

“Reaching out to some of our most vulnerable patients, the Navigators are in a unique position of being able to offer support when people are at a crisis point by linking them, and importantly their families, with services in their own communities.

“Being treated at the Emergency Department is often just one step in a patient’s journey and it is by hospital and community services working together like this that we can make the biggest difference to patients and their families.”

Tags: Navigator

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