The VRU will work closely with the health sector in the following ways:
The VRU will be working closely with the health service to collect and analyse health data. The NHS gathers data which will enable us to understand where and when violence occurs. For example, de-personalised injury data tells us the location, time, date and how an injury occurred. When we look at this alongside other information sources, it helps provide a more accurate understanding of where and when violence in public spaces takes place.
Violence Prevention Programmes (Primary Care)
Primary Care services like doctor’s surgeries can play an important role in preventing violence. These services can help us tackle the root causes of violence. Programmes like IRIS, which sees doctors in GP practices, refer patients to domestic violence and abuse services, have shown to be an effective and efficient tool to reduce violence and improve the safety and quality of life for survivors of abuse.
Violence Prevention Programmes (Secondary Care)
A&E departments and hospitals can play a crucial role in violence prevention. Funding services like Redthread and St Giles, who both put youth workers in A&E units in order to help patients caught up in a life of violence, help to intervene in people’s lives at critical moments and provide the support needed.
Interventions in Early Childhood
Health visitors can contribute to violence prevention by promoting the importance of attachment and supportive relationships, promoting programmes which reduce parental conflict and support the development of parenting skills.
The NHS can create clinical violence prevention networks. In effect joining up teams of health care professionals to work together and change the status quo within the health service so violence prevention becomes ‘everybody’s business’.