Issue 6-04

Vicki Golden – Exciting things to come from ISTV

You may already be aware that 2024 is an exciting year for the Information Sharing to Tackle Violence (ISTV) programme, with new opportunities and possibilities.

In the violence reduction landscape, ISTV has played a pivotal role in laying the foundation for data in the NHS Violence Reduction Programme and informing the work of Community Safety Partnerships. With the commencement of the Serious Violence Duty, ISTV plays a significant role in shaping the strategies of Integrated Care Boards (ICB), who are now obligated to collaborate with other system partners towards the prevention of serious violence.

ISTV has been incorporated into the Emergency Care Data Set (ECDS) Version 4, and all emergency departments will need to transition by July 2024 to this latest data standard. This change promises to deliver not only more data, but more meaningful data, facilitating deeper insights and understanding about violence in London. Through ECDS, Urgent Treatment Centres (UTC) will begin to share data, and ISTV can be triangulated with demographic and other health data. Most of the violence related data submitted through ECDS will be available to ICBs immediately for violence reduction related insight and planning.

Although there have been some local successes, London has struggled to achieve consistently actionable data through the current process. We are optimistic that these wider system developments have the potential to enable significant improvements in data volume and quality.

The inclusion of ISTV in ECDS Version 4 should remove much of the administrative burden experienced by Trusts through the current submission process. As with any change process, there may be temporary challenges. To support with these challenges, I am working closely with Michael Cheetham, the National Violence Reduction Data Manager. Together we are engaging with ED and Informatics colleagues across London Trusts with a twofold collaborative aim:

  1. supporting those departments already submitting high quality data to seamlessly adapt to the forthcoming change, and
  2. supporting others to improve their data in a manner that will be sustainable with ECDS V4.

We have already had several productive meetings with Trusts’ multidisciplinary teams and have identified some learning. For example:

  • Some sites use deprecated (retired) ECDS codes to identify victims of assault. When updated, ISTV data will be able to flow into ECDS.
  • Having software that makes recording ISTV as intuitive and convenient as possible for busy frontline staff is a positive driver towards high-volume high-quality data.
  • Departments capturing high-volume and high-quality data have incorporated ISTV awareness into recurrent training programs such as triage study days, Doctor or receptionist inductions – depending on who is responsible for recording it in the individual department.

Importantly, we recognise the pressurised environment of emergency care settings, faced with competing demands, often eclipses the crucial role of violence reduction. The success of ISTV, and the tools for violence reduction it would enable, necessitates the backing of visionary leadership within these departments. As subscribers to this newsletter, you exemplify this vital leadership. We are eager to engage with staff across every London ED and UTC. If we have not yet reached out to you directly, we warmly encourage you to contact us ( Together, we can shape the path towards a future that can break the cycle of violence.

Download ISTV poster here.

Vicki Golden
Deputy Clinical Lead for Data and Intelligence, London Violence Reduction Programme, NHS England
Senior Sister, Emergency Department, Whittington Health NHS Trust

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