Croydon Health Services NHS Trust has secured funding to introduce youth workers to its A&E department to work with young people caught up in violent crime, it was announced by the Mayor of London today (14 October 2019).
The funding, which forms a key part of the Mayor’s approach to tackling violent crime in the capital, will help steer young people away from violence by providing Croydon with dedicated youth workers to support young people who arrive at A&E with injuries.
The initiative, which will launch in Croydon for the first time ever, allows youth workers to intervene much earlier and engage with young people when they arrive at hospital with less serious injuries – the time when they are most receptive to changing their behaviour.
Sarah McLaggan, Head of Children’s Nursing said:
“We’re incredibly pleased to benefit from additional support in our A&E department, ensuring we can offer young people access to a specialist youth worker to engage with them before they suffer serious violence.
“Croydon is home to more young people than any other London borough - we have 93,000 under 18s.
“We’re already working closely with young people and our partners on this issue. We’ve trained our own A&E staff to spot the signs of gang violence and since Croydon Council launched its Choose Your Future campaign at the end of 2017, the borough has seen a 12 per cent drop in knife crime, bucking the trend elsewhere in the capital.
“Thanks to this additional funding, we’ll be able to offer early intervention, more easily to Croydon’s young people if and when they need it.”
Croydon Health Services is just one of the beneficiaries of the Mayor’s £4 million funding announcement. Youth workers will also be based in Accident & Emergency departments in Newham General Hospital in Plaistow, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, University Hospital Lewisham and Whittington Hospital, covering Islington and Haringey.
This investment will also provide an increase in the number of specialist youth workers already based in London’s four Major Trauma Centres – Kings, St George’s, St Marys and the Royal London hospitals.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
“It is a tragedy that our city is being robbed of young people with so much potential and it is vital we do all we can to help them move away from a life of violence.
“Embedding youth workers in hospitals has already made a profound difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable young Londoners, reaching them at a crucial junction in their lives and helping them choose a different path away from violence. This is why I am investing record amounts to significantly expand this work and introduce specialist youth workers to more A&E departments.”
Last year, more than 1,000 young people were identified as in need of specialist youth worker support in London’s Major Trauma Centres, due to potentially suffering violence or exploitation. Youth workers were able to help 432 young people last year, aiding them in moving away from violence in their lives and assisting with education, relationships or housing. Of these young people, 52 were under-18 and not previously known to support services, showing the success of this approach at reaching some of the most vulnerable and at-risk young Londoners.
NOTES TO EDITORS
- Croydon Health Services NHS Trust provides hospital and community services in the borough. The Trust employs more than 3,800 staff and provides integrated NHS services to care for people at home, in schools, and health clinics across the borough.
- For more information please contact the Trust’s Communications Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07554438621. For media enquiries outside of normal office hours and weekends, please call the Trust’s main switchboard on 020 8401 3000 and ask for the Press Officer On-Call.
- The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) will provide an additional £2.5m to embed specialist youth workers in five A&E locations: Newham General Hospital in Plaistow, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, Croydon University Hospital, University Hospital Lewisham and Whittington Hospital, covering Islington and Haringey. MOPAC will also invest £840,000 to continue the successful delivery of youth worker support in London’s four Major Trauma Centres: Kings, St George’s, St Marys and the Royal London hospital.
- London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) will provide £1.5m to fund additional youth workers in London’s four Major Trauma Centres (Kings, St George’s, St Marys and the Royal London hospital) and new youth workers in the same five new A&E locations (Newham General Hospital in Plaistow, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, Croydon University Hospital, University Hospital Lewisham and Whittington Hospital, covering Islington and Haringey).
- Hospital based embedded youth work services also provide training for clinical staff to help them to follow trauma-informed principles and to be better able to identify young people at-risk of serious violence. Work will be carried out over the coming months to determine the youth work providers and delivery model for the service in these locations.