COVID-19 occupies all of our thoughts at the moment. In the NHS we are facing an unprecedented challenge no matter which branch of healthcare we work in. This has meant we’ve had to make a lot of changes at Medics against Violence, which will be temporary but we hope you will bear with us during these extraordinary times. There are details below of how we’ve changed our programmes. Once we get through this we promise things will return to normal.
All of our volunteers are involved in the provision of emergency care of one sort or another and in planning to run our NHS services very differently from normal. As I write this we’ve been told we are in Week 8 of this pandemic and on the rise of the curve, we don’t expect to hit the peak till Week 16 in two months time. After that we hope things will improve but we don’t expect to be through this till at least July. In the NHS we need all hands on deck to manage this situation. Most of our volunteers are front line NHS workers who are needed at work and we know some of them will get sick. So that combination of not wanting to infect you with COVID-19 and needing to be where we are most useful has meant that we have taken the decision to suspend our school programme completely for the rest of the school year. We know this will be disappointing to those who already have visits arranged with us and once this infection has passed you will be first on our list for a visit. We know that at some point the schools are also likely to close so we will work hard when we get time to put some materials here on our new website that you can use if you end up off school or if teaching needs to move online.
For young people who are worried about COVID-19 Young Scot have put together some great resources and interviews that you can access here https://young.scot/campaigns/national/coronavirus Washing your hands well and regularly is really important.
Our Navigators work in the Emergency Department some of the time. We felt that this might put them at greater risk of getting COVID-19 but there is also a risk that they might bring it into the department from the community. To keep them all and our ED colleagues a tiny bit safer and with all their support we took the decision yesterday to withdraw them from their Emergency Department duties till the pandemic is over. This doesn’t mean they won’t be working though. Over the next few months they will continue to support patients they are already supporting in the community by phone, text and online and in some case with meetings in open green spaces after a careful risk assessment. They will also accept new referrals from our Emergency Department colleagues and will make contact with those new people by phone to provide support, advice and if needed onward referral to other organisations. The Navigators are also very happy to offer telephone support to our NHS colleagues who may be feeling a bit overwhelmed by all this and would just like someone to talk to.
Following Scottish Government advice about social distancing all ASC domestic abuse training will be suspended until further notice. Like the school programme we will work to put resources online on this website for anyone who may be interested. We recognise that times when people are being asked to self-isolate at home for prolonged periods can be really difficult for people who are experiencing domestic abuse who may be isolated with their abuser. So please look out for your family, neighbours, friends or colleagues who may be in this situation. The Scottish Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage helpline is on this number 0800 027 1234
How to contact us if you need to
You can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. Several of us monitor this email and we will be back in touch as soon as we can
If you specifically want to contact Navigator please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and he will be in touch as soon as he can
Thank you for your patience and understanding at this very difficult time. Please stay safe.
Dr Christine Goodall, Director Medics against Violence