Sex as­sault sup­port is set to ex­pand with ex­tra cash

Evening Times - - NEWS - By CATRIONA STE­WART

A SEX­UAL as­sault cen­tre will ex­pand its ser­vices thanks to nearly £450,000 fund­ing.

The Arch­way Sex­ual As­sault Re­fer­ral Cen­tre in Glas­gow will now be able to open un­til mid­night five nights a week.

Ad­di­tional med­i­cal and nurs­ing staff for the cen­tre will also be funded – in­clud­ing round-the-clock ac­cess to a nurse.

Tr­isha McAu­ley, chair­woman of Glas­gow Health and So­cial Care Part­ner­ship, said: “This de­ci­sion shows how the health and so­cial care part­ner­ship can re­spond to lo­cal pri­or­i­ties.

“Ex­tend­ing open­ing hours of Arch­way will help vic­tims of sex­ual vi­o­lence re­ceive the sup­port they re­quire and as­sist the ef­fort to bring per­pe­tra­tors to jus­tice.”

As the only Sex­ual As­sault Re­fer­ral Cen­tre (SARC) in the whole of Scot­land, Arch­way pro­vides vic­tims of rape and sex­ual as­sault with spe­cial­ist care as part of the sex­ual of­fences ex­am­i­na­tion process that sup- ports po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tions. It pre­vi­ously pro­vided a reg­u­lar out-ofhours ser­vice, which stopped due to fund­ing pres­sures.

Now, thanks to £445,000 from the Glas­gow Health and So­cial Care Part­ner­ship, ad­di­tional med­i­cal and nurs­ing staff will be re­cruited for the cen­tre, which is cur­rently open 9am to 5pm, Mon­day to Fri­day.

Open­ing hours will be ex­tended to mid­night ev­ery day from March 1 next year. The ad­di­tional fund­ing will en­sure an in­creased pro­vi­sion of fe­male staff linked to the cen­tre with a new role to be cre­ated for a nurse who will de­liver med­i­cal sup­port within a po­lice cus­tody suite.

This will also en­sure there is round-the-clock nurs­ing cover for Arch­way.

The fi­nan­cial boost from Glas­gow HSCP is for one year and is in­tended to pro­vide con­ti­nu­ity for Arch­way ahead of fur­ther di­rec­tion from the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment on how foren­sic ser­vices for vic­tims of sex­ual as­sault are to be de­liv­ered across the coun­try.

The work of Arch­way will now also be in­cor­po­rated within a wider re­view of sex­ual health ser­vices de­liv­ered by Glas­gow HSCP.

Ms McAu­ley added: “The ad­di­tional fund­ing will en­sure there is a greater con­sis­tency of ser­vice and that vic­tims will have im­proved ac­cess to spe­cial­ist sup­port.

“Arch­way is widely recog­nised as pro­vid­ing an ex­cel­lent ser­vice and the ad­di­tional fund­ing will im­prove ac­cess to the ser­vice in the com­ing months.”

The ser­vice will now re­ceive a bud­get of more than £1.1 mil­lion for 2018/19, with money drawn from a range of part­ners in­clud­ing NHS Greater Glas­gow and Clyde, Glas­gow City Coun­cil, Po­lice Scot­land and Glas­gow Health and So­cial Care Part­ner­ship.

Vic­tims of sex­ual as­sault will be able to use an im­proved sup­port ser­vice af­ter the ex­tra cash

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