NHS London Violence Reduction Programme

Health and care services can play a unique role in improving wellbeing and tackling inequalities for people impacted by violence. The NHS London Violence Reduction Programme was set up in 2019 to support clinical teams to address serious youth violence in ways that work for communities.

Our role is to support health and care workers to understand the drivers of violence and implement preventative approaches that help improve better access to health, care and wellbeing for people impacted by violence. To succeed we need to listen to our communities, to understand what the local underlying causes are and work together to develop solutions that create meaningful changes within their communities.

We aim to make the NHS an active partner in the holistic solution to a complex challenge. Through the development of a shared understanding of violence reduction, we can focus on the strengths of our young people, rather than stigmatising them.

This is primarily a London Programme, but our aim is to use the work we do in London and learn and share with colleagues nationally, where appropriate.  What we do here must be able to help others meet their own local challenges and create their own solutions.

Finding the right approach

  • Understanding gaps in current systems and pathways that prevent timely and appropriate access to holistic care
  • Developing new models of care that are evidence-based, co-produced with young experts and result in better outcomes for affected communities
  • Improving access to violence-related health data that can be analysed and used in a meaningful way to inform change
  • Supporting Integrated Care Systems to understand the importance of violence prevention and implement models of care across local systems

Understanding the community context means that we can provide the right kind of health and wellbeing support to young people who had previously encountered barriers. This will improve the access, experience, and outcomes for many.

Our user network will help us ensure that young people are involved in improving the systems that affect them. They work in partnership with young people with lived and learned experience to share their knowledge in a safe and productive way, without reliving trauma. Through a strengths-based approach, they hope to bring community voices to this Programme so healthcare professionals across all NHS services and beyond know the power of true empathy and understanding in the context of serious youth violence.

Programme progress so far

Despite challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the London Violence Reduction Programme has continued to deliver against planned activities.

Progress made so far:

  • Funding for three ICS Vanguards
  • Produced an In-Hospital Guide to Violence Reduction
  • Produced a Specialist Social Prescribing Pathway for Violence Reduction
  • Working closely with Mental Health and Trauma colleagues in London to develop integrated mental health and physical health pathways that can be piloted within Major Trauma Centres.
  • Produced an e-learning resource on violence reduction with Health Education England
  • Working with the London Mayor’s Violence Reduction Unit.
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