To support some of our most vulnerable patients who may have been admitted to the hospital as a result of serious violence and domestic abuse incidents, this week (28th June) we launched the ‘Hospital Navigator Scheme’.
In collaboration with Thames Valley Police, who have seen a sharp increase in these incidents in individuals under the age of 25, the scheme has been designed to support patients who present at hospital because of existing substance abuse, mental health issues, poor diet, personal care or violence itself.
A team of volunteers will be based in our emergency department (ED) and will be on hand to provide comfort, advice and support to individuals who may be particularly vulnerable. Those patients who require further intervention will be directed to YMCA Milton Keynes for specialist support, ensuring that they have an appropriate contact point in the community. This intervention is intended to provide the patient with the right support and mentoring, preventing the likelihood of further incidents which could result in them coming back to the hospital.
Milton Keynes is one of five NHS trusts in the Thames Valley area developing Hospital Navigator schemes, with the overall programme funded and coordinated by the Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit – a partnership body set up to tackle violence and its root causes. The scheme has been implemented following a significant rise in Emergency Department (ED) admissions across the country due to serious violence and aims to ensure that there is a more co-ordinated approach to providing support to these patients across health and social care. Initially volunteers will be available on Friday and Saturday evenings.
The objectives of the Hospital Navigator Scheme are to:
Nadean Marsh, Head of Nursing for Safeguarding and Quality Milton Keynes University Hospital said, “The Hospital Navigator Scheme is a fantastic example of how taking a multi-agency, coordinated approach is able to deliver the right care to some of the most vulnerable patients who present at our ED. Our team of volunteers are specifically trained to understand how to firstly identify a patient that has been a victim of abuse, and then provide the appropriate support that individual requires.
“Through working closely with our teams in the community, particularly at the YMCA MK, we can help to ensure patients get the right support that they need and avoid the possibility of them returning to the hospital as a result of similar incidents.”
Volunteers for the scheme will be recruited directly through the YMCA MK. To find out more and apply, please visit their website.