Can Do Healthcare - Thinking Differently Together About Trauma Informed Care

Kate opened by mentioning that it is often said that the NHS has been under a lot of pressure lately, and we can’t deny that Covid has put a lot of pressure on men, women and families who have been having a really hard time. Concern for hidden harm around trauma has escalated both in the UK and globally. That is why the launch, back in 2018, of the Sexual Abuse and Assault Strategy, looking at a lifetime of support, really resonates now. The focus is on why complex trauma was not being focussed on and why some people are still not getting the services they need at the time of crisis. It is an average of six years before somebody comes forward and feels safe enough to talk about what they want and need and what matters to them around rape and sexual abuse. The number of sexual assault services has increased dramatically in England. They have particularly developed not only for adults but for paediatric models. The sad truth is that sexual assault and abuse services have had referrals as young as babies and as old as men and women in their nineties. The fastest group of people as a percentage coming forward is men and boys, although the highest number still continues to be girls and women. The strategy aims to support victims and survivors to: • recover • heal • rebuild their lives It is not a strategy that has been published lightly: It is because it matters. The six core priorities within it will focus on to reduce inequalities and addresses the issue of fragmented and siloed commissioning structures that can impact access to care, support provision and victim and survivor experiences and it looks at how we do more in the prevention space. It considers how pathways of care need to change by 2023 to ensure those who have experienced sexual assault or abuse have appropriate and timely access to services throughout their life. It looks at what can be done further on safeguarding and proactively looking at it with the new acts and bills such as the Domestic Violence Act 2021, the Victims Strategy and the Rape review. The document will be refreshed with lived experience, with clinicians and services and in collaboration with integrated systems. This programme of work is supported by £37.5m (2019/20), which has more than tripled over the six previous years. Lived experience is an important element of it and we should be doing co-production, it is not just about hearing and then moving forward. The quality standards are key; we have a dearth of what quality standards look like within trauma informed services. What is important is that we look at the quality standards and work that has been done by the Survivors Trust, by Survivors in Transition, and start to really embed them. Collaboration is the name of the game. The NHS has commissioning and funding requirements through legislation, but the new integrated boards, partnerships and systems are doing is to move out the boundaries and look at innovation and collaborating in a way that may not have been done before. All of this is underpinned by knowledge and the training of workforce that supports men and women to come forward, and we need to being new people into the workplace and do more on peer support, and have systems where we can enable men, women, children and young people who are still within our services to really be part of the systems approach in developing them further. We have a moment in time: The Sarah Everard case, the recent sentencing of Wayne Couzens, but more importantly the many hundreds and thousands of people that are still unheard of around trauma, around sexual abuse and what 7. The importance of a lifetime approach Kate Davies CBE, Director of Health and Justice, Armed Forces and Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) for NHS England and NHS Improvement Thinking Differently Together | 16

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