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LATs to improve sexual assault services

LATs to improve sexual assault services


Local area teams (LATs) will be working with crime commissioners, local authorities and public health groups to improve care for victims of sexual assault. 

The scheme, launched by NHS England aims to provide high quality provision on a 24 hour basis. 

The new framework aims to drive up local improvements in the quality of services, the outcomes of victims of sexual assault and rape and reduce health inequalities. 

The four NHS England regional reams will be supported in the scheme by nine area teams and the London area team. 

Kate Davies OBE, NHS England’s head of public health, armed forces, health and justice said: “Whoever you are, or wherever you are, NHS England is dedicated to ensuring that, as a victim, you will get safe, confidential and high quality support, health care and forensic examinations from a local Sexual Assault Referral Centre.

“We are working to improve and develop high quality provision on a 24 hour basis, 365 days of the year.”

Director of corporate commissioning Ann Sutton said: “This is a vital step forward in giving much needed and improved support across the entire country for the victims of sexual assault and rape.

“Many victims suffer long term health issues as a result of the crimes they have been subjected to. This plan will ensure better joined-up thinking among the various agencies who offer vital support.”

The needs of victims include dealing with the physical consequences of sexual violence or rape, a risk of pregnancy in five per cent of cases, the contraction of sexually transmitted infections and HIV and, for all victims, longer-term health issues such as increased rates of chronic illnesses, poor health and increased use of medical services.

The psychological consequences are linked to profound long-term health issues, with one-third of rape victims developing post-traumatic stress disorder, relationship problems, mental illness and longer-term psychological needs.

There is also increased risk of suicide for abused children when they reach their mid-twenties.


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