Youth workers to support patients at risk of violence at Bedford Hospital
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Specialist youth workers will be introduced at Bedford Hospital to support patients at risk of violence and exploitation.
The Bedfordshire A&E navigators programme will work with people aged 12 to 25 who come to A&E with injuries linked to violence and exploitation, including self-harm and assault injuries, and support them to move away from criminal exploitation, gangs and county lines drug dealing.
Between April 2016 and March 2021, 1,800 young people came to Bedfordshire A&Es with assault-related injuries.
Charity St Giles Trust will run the pilot, which is due to start next year coordinated by the Office of the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner and funded by the Bedfordshire Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit.
PCC Festus Akinbusoye said: “Experts who work with young people will often talk about teachable moments, key points in a young person’s life where they can make important decisions about their future. Attendance at hospital is one of those moments. Experts from St Giles Trust will use their considerable experience and expertise to offer support and advice at a crucial moment which could help turn someone’s life around.”