A successful violence reduction project that was started in a busy Glasgow hospital accident and emergency department is to be extended to Edinburgh, the Scottish government has announced.
The Navigator programme, based at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, is intended to support patients who have been the victims or perpetrators of violence to make changes to improve their lives.
“The navigators provide a critical role in enabling us to interact with people”
Under the programme, so-called “navigators” use the brief window of opportunity when a patient has been admitted to diffuse difficult situations, identify services that could help to change their life and help them to access them.
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.
Scottish justice secretary Michael Matheson 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.”
Karyn McCluskey, director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, 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,” she said. “Our navigators interrupt that cycle of violence, prevent further assaults and navigate people to services that enable them to better outcomes.”
She added: “The exceptional NHS staff within our emergency departments are critical to the process and have been instrumental in weaving the service into better patient outcomes.”
Scottish NHS violence reduction project to be extended
Source: Lisa Jarvis
Alastair Ireland, clinical director in emergency medicine at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, noted that A&E time pressures usually meant nurses and doctors were “simply unable devote the necessary time” to talk with victims about “breaking out of the cycle of violence”.
“The navigators not only take the time to engage in a meaningful and positive way within the emergency department, hospital wards and later in the community, but have the added expertise of excellent links with local organisations best able to provide ongoing support,” he said.
Jim Crombie, acting chief executive of NHS Lothian, added: “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,” she said. “It will also help boost staff morale to see another level of support being provided.”