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First anniversary for Tayside’s Navigators

The groundbreaking Navigator project at Ninewells Hospital marked its first anniversary on Saturday, 28th November.

Following funding from Dundee’s Health and Social Care Partnership, Navigators Corrie and Marc have been based in Dundee’s Ninewells Accident and Emergency department since November 2019, working alongside the medical and nursing teams offering support to individuals who present with complex social issues.

Since the introduction of the Navigator Programme, 113 patients have been referred to the service and despite the challenges of COVID-19, the Navigators have been able to maintain their compassionate and caring service by delivering it virtually over the last few months. By engaging with people attending as a result of violence or drug and alcohol use, Corrie and Marc are able to provide support and information on a wide range of third sector contacts and services in the community.

Making positive changes

Marc Nelson said: “The Navigator programme aims to encourage patients involved in violence or stuck in chaos to make the positive changes which will improve their lives.

“Our role as Navigators is to connect vulnerable patients with support services that can help address their needs including addiction, mental health problems and all forms of violence, including domestic abuse.

“The pandemic this year has meant that we have had to think differently as to how we could continue to provide support to those who might need help. Support has been provided virtually in some cases when face-to-face meetings were not possible due to the restrictions of COVID-19. In addition to violence and drug and alcohol issues we have also supported patients who were experiencing mental health issues as well as problems associated with self-isolation.

“Being treated in an Emergency Department is often just one step in a patient’s journey and it is by hospital and community services working together like this we really feel that we can make the biggest difference to patients and their families.”

Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Dr Elizabeth Skelly, said: “It is now a year since Navigators Marc and Corrie joined our Emergency Department team and what a positive difference they have made.

“Their skills and dedication have helped many individuals who face complex challenges in their lives work towards positive change, and they have achieved some truly remarkable results.

“As Navigators, their role adds breadth and depth to the support we can offer patients. They are a great asset to our department, to NHS Tayside and the community it serves.”

Commenting on the Navigator Programme’s first year at Ninewells Navigator National Coordinator Tam Begbie, said: “Team Navigator Ninewells has had an incredible first year. Corrie and Marc have set the bar high, working alongside NHS Tayside medical and nursing staff they have managed to connect and support with a number of patients attending ED with a variety of complex social issues. 

“We have seen really positive outcomes for the patients the Navigators have supported. Well done to NHS Tayside, Ninewells and Team Navigator, may we continue to grow and bind together to help those less fortunate than ourselves.”

Dr Christine Goodall, Director at Medics Against Violence, added: “At the end of a challenging first year during a global pandemic Medics against Violence are proud to look back at what our Navigator team in Ninewells has achieved. 

“We are very grateful to the support we have received from the medical and nursing staff in the ED in Ninewells. We look forward to many more years of supporting patients alongside our emergency medicine colleagues and our community partners in the Tayside area and to being able to offer people, who find themselves in often very challenging circumstances, hope and a way forward.”

Notes to editors:

  • The Navigator Project is run by the healthcare charity, Medics Against Violence, in partnership with the Scottish Government and local NHS health boards. It receives further support from the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit.
  • The project first launched in 2015 at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary emergency department. Over the last 5 years, it has expanded to seven different acute hospital sites across Scotland: Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow; Ninewells Hospital, Dundee; Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow; Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley; Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh; University Hospital Crosshouse, Kilmarnock; and University Hospital Wishaw.
  • For further information about the Navigator project and press enquiries, please contact us directly.

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