More patients offered access to violence reduction scheme

31 May 2018, 06:36

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A programme offering support to patients trapped in a cycle of violence is being expanded.

The Scottish Violence Reduction Unit has been awarded £140,000 by the Scottish Government to roll out its Navigator scheme to two more hospitals.

Through the project mentors or 'navigators' help patients who have been victims or perpetrators of violence.

They provide support in hospital, help to diffuse difficult situations and identify support services that patients can access.

Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow and Crosshouse Hospital in South Ayrshire will host the initiative for a year.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson 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 450 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."

Navigator is run by the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit in collaboration with Medics Against Violence, NHS Lothian, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Ayrshire and Arran.

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 help 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 working closely with the hard working medical teams at Queen Elizabeth and Crosshouse hospitals. Together we can help navigate people towards a better life."