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£8.5 million to improve healthcare for victims of sexual assault

Sunday December 2nd 2018 at 7:45 AM

£8.5 million has been allocated to improve healthcare services for victims of rape and sexual assault in Scotland.

The Scottish Government will roll out the money over the next few years, with £2.5 million coming this financial year to recruit workers, provide training and develop facilities.

A further £3 million will be provided in 2019 and the same again in 2020.

The investment will support the work of the Scottish Government Taskforce, an expert group established in 2017 to support health boards providing for children and adults who have experienced sexual assault.

Cabinet Secretary for Health Jeane Freeman said:

“I want to see compassionate healthcare and support should be as close as possible to the point of need. Our Taskforce is driving improvement in this important area and they are on track with their five year plan.

“I am particularly encouraged to see the progress NHS Forth Valley are making with the development of their new service for victims of sexual crime, which has been supported by Scottish Government funding.

“The commitment of the team to progress this and share their learning with other health boards is just one example of how we can make improvements for victims of sexual crime a reality.

Claire Montgomery, Advocacy Worker, Forth Valley Rape Crisis said: “The new NHS Forth Valley forensic unit is going to be a great asset. We have been very impressed with the level of thought that’s gone into designing the unit with the needs of survivors of sexual violence been seen as a top priority.

“Having to go through a forensic examination can be extremely difficult and it is important that services such as this have taken the time to consider what survivors need during this traumatic time.

“Having a variety of other relevant services under one roof will be also be really beneficial for survivors accessing support and information, making sure people have access to the services they need that can support them in their recovery.”

Cathie Cowan, NHS Forth Valley’s Chief Executive, said: “Our new centre, which will be known as the Meadows, has been specifically designed with the needs of users in mind.

“It will contain a forensic suite as well as a specialist area to meet the needs of children. It will also have police interview facilities for both children and adults and specially-trained staff to help deal with trauma and provide ongoing support.

“The development of this important new facility, which is due to open in April 2019, is the result of close working with a number of partners, including Police Scotland and Rape Crisis and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved.”

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