Hospitals play a key role in addressing the drivers of violence and contributing towards violence prevention. The NHS London Violence Reduction Programme was set up in 2019 to support clinical teams in developing locally sensitive approaches to tackling the root causes of violence, inequality and exclusion.
Interpersonal violence, including serious youth violence, poses a challenge not only for individuals affected but for their communities. Violence accounts for £2.6 billion of NHS spending annually. A public health approach to violence reduction understands violence as an outcome of being exposed to risk factors and proposes strategies for prevention that focus on wellbeing and support, rather than stigmatisation.
In-hospital violence reduction services bring together different professionals – including young experts with lived experience – in hospital settings, to work with young people at risk of involvement with violence. Timely intervention is vital, and young people at risk of harm or exploitation need a specialist model of care provided by collaborative organisations and professionals, including:
- Clinical professionals working in emergency care or trauma
- Mental health professionals
- Voluntary sector organisations
- Those with lived experience
- Families of those most affected by serious violence
Whilst we provide a toolkit and model for setting up in-hospital violence reduction services, we also recognise the importance of local contexts and local ownership. The NHS London Violence Reduction programme offers practical advice and guidance to develop effective VR services in hospitals, from initial design to data collection to service delivery.
Find out more about In-Hospital Violence Reduction Services: A Guide to Effective Implementation.