Plan to divert Doncaster’s boozy revellers from A&E with ‘safe haven’ zone

Doncaster Royal Infirmary
Doncaster Royal Infirmary
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A plan is being considered to divert Doncaster’s boozy revellers away from A&E when they have no medical need to be there.

Health chiefs are looking into a scheme which would provide shelter and advice to intoxicated Doncaster folk to ease the burden on A&E services at the weekend and reduce ambulance call-outs.

It comes after a report presented to Doncaster Council’s Health and Wellbeing board showed that around 11 people a day turn up at A&E with alcohol-related issues.

It is hoped that it will have a knock-on effect in tackling violent crime in Doncaster, averting drunken punch-ups and assaults.

Figures show that incidents of alcohol-related violence have risen 25 per cent since 2013 but the majority of alcohol-related attendances came from minor injuries and not assaults.

The report said: “Alcohol-related crime has increased significantly from a low in 2012/2013.

“The Joint Strategic Intelligence Assessment notes this increase citing increases in town centre violence and recorded domestic abuse incidents.

“Reviewing the presenting condition, it does appear that three quarters of attendances are linked to minor injuries and accidents rather than assaults.”

Blackpool has ran the ‘Night Safe Haven’ project since 2008.

It aims to support vulnerable people who are in distress in the town centre at night ranging from physical violence, excessive alcohol consumption, drug taking, separation from friends and family or people who are lost.

A report issued by the town’s council say that around 1,000 hospital admissions are averted every year due to the early intervention.

A joint effort by partners would include, police, ambulance staff and the council.

Dr Rupert Suckling, Director of Public Health, said: “Some people who are drunk or vulnerable attend A&E when they do not have a medical need.

“A number of towns and cities across the country have introduced ‘safe havens’, a help point that provides shelter, information and advice for revellers.

“This could be a way to divert people away from the A&E and help to reduce the number of alcohol-related attendances, ambulance call outs and alcohol-related crime in Doncaster.

“Over the coming months the council and its partners will be looking into the idea in more detail to see if this is something that can be taken forward locally.”