NHS Rape and Sexual Assault Service Awareness Launch

0

Improving health care choices and support.

A marketing campaign has been launched to ensure people know of a dedicated national NHS service that offers choices in healthcare, forensic examinations and support after rape or sexual assault.

The national service, to be implemented across all health boards, will allow people aged 16 and over to present themselves for forensic examination at a sexual assault response coordination service ( SARCS), whether or not they wish to report to the police.

Funding of £11.7 million was invested by the Scottish Government alongside the unanimous passage of the Forensic Medical Services Act 2021 through Parliament. The money has been used to set up health facilities for examinations in all health boards, to recruit more specialist staff and to set up a single point of contact for self-referral through the NHS 24.

The campaign which will run across digital channels and outdoor advertising sites encourages people who have been victims of sex crime to visit the NHS Inform website for information to help them decide the best next step for they.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Sir Gregor Smith said:

“It’s very important that everyone knows about this service and while I hope people will never need to use it, for those who do, knowing where to turn for help and information is an essential element in giving them back control.

“This legislation marks an important step to ensure that people who have experienced sexual assault have access to health care and support, even if they do not feel ready to report it to the police.

“The campaign will run over the next few months to raise awareness of the Sexual Assault Response Coordination Service (SARCS), to help improve the experience of those who have experienced a sexual crime.”

Jennifer Wilson, NHS Ayrshire & Arran Nurse Manager added:

“Improving health services for victims of sexual offenses is a priority for NHS Ayrshire & Arran. We are committed to the task force’s vision of cohesive, people-centred and trauma-informed and access to recovery, for anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted in Scotland.

“With the launch of the FMS Act and the National Self-Referral Service, we can now offer local services to victims of sexual assault who require a forensic medical examination (FME) and who do not want or are not not yet ready to report it. to the police.

“This is a critical part of improving services for victims of sexual assault and ensuring that prompt medical support, including a forensic medical examination, is available for victims of rape and sexual assault in a sensitive, compassionate way and reduces the risk of further trauma.

Sandy Brindley, Managing Director of Rape Crisis Scotland, said:

“This is a huge step forward in improving responses to rape in Scotland. Immediately after a rape or sexual assault it can be very difficult to decide whether to report what happened to the police. , but there are time limits to be able to collect forensic evidence Self-referral means that if someone does not feel ready to make the decision to report, they can ensure that all evidence are collected and make the decision when ready.

Share.

Comments are closed.