Bedfordshire A&E Navigator’s Project Supports 13 young people in a few weeks

Bedfordshire A&E Navigator’s Project Supports 13 young people in a few weeks

[Press Release]

13 young people have been supported by our Caseworkers embedded in A&E departments in the Bedford and Luton & Dunstable hospitals since the project start in April.

Funded by the Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit (VERU) and Office of Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), the project acts as an early intervention measure, providing support to young people who present at the hospitals with injuries linked to violence and exploitation.

The aim of St Giles’s hospital work is to address the underlying issues behind the young person’s admission to hospital and help ensure their safety once discharged, alongside connecting them to services helping with education, employment and housing.

Clare Elliot, Head of Services for East of England at St Giles, said:

“The project has got off to a fantastic start and our teams are well embedded in both hospitals.

They are currently working hard to make their faces known across the hospitals and encourage referrals to the project. There have already been a modest but significant number in these early days and we anticipate this number will grow significantly as the work gains momentum.

We are very much looking forward to working with our partners to reduce youth violence in the county and help young people get the support they need to stay safe.”

Cara Gavin VERU Manager, said:

“We’re incredibly pleased with the impact were seeing even at this early stage, and thank the OPCC for partnering with us on this scheme.

Despite the robust intervention pathways we have in place to support young people across our county, we know that a number can slip through by self- presenting in A&E waiting rooms. We believe the A&E Navigators scheme will provide us with a better measure of this, while tackling the issue at the same time.

St Giles Trust bring a wealth of knowledge and experience which has proven effective elsewhere and will no doubt continue to have a positive impact here in Bedfordshire.”

Over the last financial year (April 23-March 24), St Giles helped more than 1,300 children and young adults through their work in nine hospitals across England.

An 18-month evaluation into St Giles Trust’s work in The Royal London Hospital saw re-admission rates of 8% against a 40% average for this cohort. Similar reductions have been found in our other hospital projects across London, the Midlands and most recently Bedfordshire.

The Bedfordshire hospital work forms part of a range of work being done by the VERU including the allocation of £700,000 into statutory and community services providing support to young people at risk of violence and exploitation.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Tizard said:

“Having held a number of leadership roles in local government and other organisations, I know that strong partnerships are key to being able to drive sustainable change in the local community.

As the newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire, I’m very pleased to champion this excellent example of preventative and collaborative work as I begin my term.

I vehemently believe that this initiative is going to be an extremely powerful tool in tackling the root causes of knife crime, and it shows how having strong partnership approaches to serious issues can create endless possibilities for Bedfordshire Police, local government, other public services, community groups and businesses.”

(This blog post was first published on Bedfordshire Police’s Linkedin page.)

Photograph of Si Philbert stood in a hospital room with machinery behind him. He is smiling and wearing a St Giles lanyard.
Meet Si Philbert, an Emergency Department Navigator with St Giles Trust.

With more than 8 years’ experience of working with young people at risk of violence and exploitation, Si is now using his expertise and insight to support this groundbreaking service.

“I’m really pleased to be a part of this new service, especially knowing the success it’s had in other parts of the country. The intersection of social support within a medical setting has proven to be a potent recipe for addressing violence and exploitation.

Young people face a lot of challenges at the moment and for some it may result in them being admitted into hospital, some of them showing up by themselves with serious injuries. In which case there is no better place for a youth worker to be, right there when young people need us most, someone to intervene and offer the support they need to change their lives around.

It’s early days and we’re still building relationships but already I’ve seen first hand the pivotal role this service plays, having recently identified and safeguarded a young person directly impacted by the harrowing realities of county lines, knife crime, and serious violence.

The scheme also highlights the importance of collaborative efforts in tackling societal issues at their roots – it’s a real privilege to play a role in it all.

This early impact is extremely encouraging, and I’m looking forward to having more instances like this where we’ve taken a child out of harms way and put them on the right path.”

Connect with St Giles via:  

X (formerly known as Twitter)
National newsletter sign-up
East of England newsletter sign-up
See More About our East Of England work

Get the latest from the St Giles Newsletter

Receiving our newsletter will mean you will be the first to hear about the impact of our work. latest news, invitations to events and find out ways you can support us.