Dr Christine Goodall is head of Medics Against Violence, who are partners in the Navigator programme along with NHS Lothian and NHSGGC. Dr Goodall wrote the report 'Navigator: A Tale of Two Cities' which looks at the first year of the Navigator hospital intervention programme at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and the first six months of the programme at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Here she introduces the report.
The Report Shows the Navigator service supported more than 340 patients in the first year in Glasgow and first six months in Edinburgh. Each of those numbers represents an individual in distress and for many the emergency department is their last resort.
The service is ideally placed to take advantage of the reachable moment during which individuals can be open to intervention and may accept the offer of support. The service has supported people with a wide range of social issues the most prevalent being violence (including interpersonal violence, domestic violence, rape and sexual assault) alcohol and drugs.
Many patients have been successfully supported to better and in some case transformational outcomes. The changes they have achieved will not only improve their lives but also those of their families so there is a ripple effect of this positivie change in the same way as we see a negative ripple effect of the violence that often resulted in their emergency department attendance in the first place. For the NHS and justice systems the potential cost savings of diverting people away from the revolving door of the health and justice systems are massive. One murder prevented is a potential saving of £1.8million.
We've also seen very positive effects of the programme on the emergency department staff themselves, many of whom feel reassured that the patients they so expertly care for have some hope of continuing their recovery with support from the navigators in the community after discharge.