A new youth violence intervention programme has started in the Emergency Department at QMC to support young people avoid becoming victims of violent crime again.
The three-year pilot is based on the successful work of charity Redthread in London where youth workers have been able to use attendances in emergency departments as a ‘teachable moment’ to help break the cycle of violence.
The programme embeds specialist youth workers – a Team Leader, two Youth Workers and a Programme Coordinator - in the Emergency Department of Queen’s Medical Centre. The team meet young people aged 11 - 24 who have been the victim of a serious assault including stabbings, gun crime, sexual assault and domestic violence.
The purpose of the programme is to provide young people with the tailored support needed to help them to keep away from involvement in youth violence or exploitation, either as a victim or as a perpetrator. The scheme, run in partnership with Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, is the first of its kind to operate outside of London.
David Bentley, Redthread Team Leader at QMC, said: “It’s been a great first week, the hospital staff have made us feel really welcome - we already feel like we are part of the furniture at QMC.
“In the last week, myself and the Redthread team have started to meet young victims of serious youth violence and we are looking forward to supporting young people to be healthy, safe and happy going forward.”
Consultant Faisal Faruqi said: “Every day young people find themselves in Emergency Department as victims of youth violence - we see around half a dozen people attending with injuries related to assaults.
“Collaborative working with Redthread will increase awareness, understanding and engagement by ED staff with young people presenting with violence related injuries.
“The objective is to build rapport with young people, mentor, advise and support them to make long term positive plans to break away from cycles of violence and offending.
“This innovative service will aim to prevent further attendances to the emergency department by delivering intervention alongside clinical teams.”
Miriam Duffy, Director of Operations at NUH, said: “We are really pleased to be the first hospital outside of London to provide this service with Redthread.
“This is an opportunity for NUH to facilitate real, ongoing change in the lives of the young people that we care for.
“Our staff are experts in treating life threatening injuries, saving lives and helping to put people back on their feet. By working with the Redthread team we are able to help in a different way, hopefully in a way that means they won’t be returning to the Emergency Department as the victim of crime.”
The Youth Violence Intervention Programme started at King’s College Hospital 13 years ago and today operates in all four of London’s Major Trauma Centres. The Redthread team work alongside the clinical staff and meet the young patients as soon as they can: in the A&E waiting room, on the ward, or even in the resuscitation bay.
This moment of intense crisis, when the young person is nursing a serious injury in the daunting environment of a busy hospital, often alone, can be a catalyst for self-reflection and pursuing positive change – a ‘teachable moment’. After leaving the hospital, Redthread mentor and advise the young person and support them to make long-term positive plans.
The pilot will take place alongside a research project undertaken by the University of Nottingham. A multidisciplinary academic research team will be conducting a Stepped Wedge Design Control Trial which will look to evaluate the impact of the service across the health, social and policing landscape in Nottingham.
To deliver the programme Redthread has partnered with Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust the East Midlands Major Trauma Centre, Nottinghamshire Police, the Nottinghamshire Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council.
Redthread has received funding from The Health Foundation, UK Home Office and the Nottinghamshire Police and Crime CommissionerR
John Poyton, CEO at Redthread said: “We are really excited the service has now gone live at Queen’s Medical Centre. We know that by embedding youth work teams in hospitals and working in partnership with health colleagues we can support vulnerable young people and help them to break the cycle of violence.”
Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “I’m delighted that this important initiative, which has already been trialled in London, is now being launched in Nottingham. I know people are concerned about knife crime and Redthread is one more initiative to help combat it.”