Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Nurses to be offered training to help rape victims


Responsibility for forensic medical services should be transferred from the police to the NHS, with doctors and nurses being given advanced training in helping victims of sexual assault, a landmark review has recommended.

The Stern review also suggests that every victim of rape should be offered a choice of a male or female doctor on the NHS.

Baroness Stern added that including forensic physicians in the new NHS clinical governance framework, in addition to recruiting more staff to the role, would vastly improve the levels of service currently offered.

Other suggestions in the report include creating independent sexual violence advisers to act as a link between victims and police, prosecutors and charity groups, and an annual governmental report to Parliament on the progress made in treating victims of sexual abuse.

“Much has changed for the better for rape victims in recent years,” said Baroness Stern. “But in some places there are failures in the implementation of policies, so much of my review focuses on turning policy into action on the ground.

“During my review I came across many examples of the very best practice - what we need is for this best practice to be found everywhere so that every man or woman who reports a rape is properly supported.”


Readers' comments (2)

  • this would be an excellent way forward. i have had several patients who have had either short shrift from the local police station or who have been told that the assault could not have happened because it's not a bad area.
    It is important that training is inclusive of police, courts lawyers and the health service as it is ultimately a criminal offence.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Has the NHS considered looking to other models in countries such as Canada or Sweden?
    All professions involved should work together to firstly study to prevent such atrocity, secondly educate the professions involved to empathize with patients( a priority actually). Learning to empathize was a priority with me in nursing school and should be used in a wide range of professions.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.