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PCC describes A&E Navigators scheme as a ‘powerful tool’

PCC describes A&E Navigators scheme as a ‘powerful tool’

In a matter of weeks, the scheme has already seen 13 young people receive specialist support from youth workers embedded in A&E departments in the Bedford and Luton & Dunstable hospitals.

Funded by the Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit (VERU) and Office of Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), the programme aims to act as an early intervention measure, offering diversionary support to young people who present at the hospitals with injuries linked to violence and exploitation.

The pilot is being delivered by St Giles Trust, who have seen similar schemes across the country result in marked reductions in re-admission rates. Over the last year, the trust has helped more than 1,300 children and young adults through their work in nine hospitals across England.

Cara Gavin VERU Manager, said: “We’re incredibly pleased with the impact were seeing even at this early stage, and thank the OPCC for partnering with us on this scheme.

“Despite the robust intervention pathways we have in place to support young people across our county, we know that a number can slip through by self- presenting in A&E waiting rooms. We believe the A&E Navigators scheme will provide us with a better measure of this, while tackling the issue at the same time.

“St Giles Trust bring a wealth of knowledge and experience which has proven effective elsewhere and will no doubt continue to have a positive impact here in Bedfordshire.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Tizard said: “Having held a number of leadership roles in local government and other organisations, I know that strong partnerships are key to being able to drive sustainable change in the local community.

“As the newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire, I’m very pleased to champion this excellent example of preventative and collaborative work as I begin my term.

“I vehemently believe that this initiative is going to be an extremely powerful tool in tackling the root causes of knife crime, and it shows how having strong partnership approaches to serious issues can create endless possibilities for Bedfordshire Police, local government, other public services, community groups and businesses .”

An 18-month evaluation into St Giles Trust’s work in The Royal London Hospital saw re-admission rates of 8% against a 40% average for this cohort.

Clare Elliot, Head of Services for East of England at St Giles, said: “The project has got off to a fantastic start and our teams are well embedded in both hospitals.

“They are currently working hard to make their faces known across the hospitals and encourage referrals to the project. There have already been a modest but significant number in these early days and we anticipate this number will grow significantly as the work gains momentum.

“We are very much looking forward to working with our partners to reduce youth violence in the county and help young people get the support they need to stay safe.

The pilot forms part of a range of work being done by the VERU including the allocation of £700,000 into statutory and community services providing support to young people at risk of violence and exploitation.

It follows the unit’s launch of ‘Ashish’s Story’, a short film from their Just Drop It knife crime campaign which features the family of 25-year-old Ashish Nahar who was stabbed to death in Bedford last year.

If you’d like to find out more about the scheme, contact the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner here

For more information about St Giles Trust visit their website:

Ashish’s Story:

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