New 'safe haven' for people on night out to cut A&E numbers

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A safe haven for people to get medical attention or support on a night out is being launched in Doncaster in an effort to cut A&E numbers.

The Safe Haven project, launching on December 10, will offer revellers support if they are injured in the town centre.

A health bus, it will also be where party-goers can go to stay safe if they have had too much to drink.

The multi-agency project has been organised to help take pressure off of the local accident and emergency departments, South Yorkshire Police said.

The Safe Haven will be open in Doncaster on certain nights in the run up to Christmas and offer both medical and practical support to revellers.

Andy Collins, who is managing the project, said: “It’s not just about reducing the amount of people who head to A&E due to excessive alcohol or alcohol related injury or illness. When people have had a drink they are more likely to be vulnerable and we can offer help and support to keep them safe.

“We will also be talking to revellers about alcohol and drug awareness and safe sex messages."

After launching, it will run again on Friday, December 16 and Friday, December 23 between 8pm and 4am.

The project is being organised by Doncaster’s Public Health Team, supported by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust, Doncaster’s Street Pastors, Doncaster Pub Watch, police, Doncaster Council and Doncaster’s Clinical Commissioning Group.

It comes after police said there were nearly 4,000 alcohol-related accident and emergency attendances to Doncaster Royal Infirmary in 2015.

The bus – which will be parked outside Doncaster’s Mansion House on High Street - and besides practical support and help there will be a nurse on board to help with minor injuries, bumps and bruises. Also on board will be health care assistants, a social worker and a mental health worker.

Dr Rupert Suckling, director of Public Health, said: “Safe Havens have proved successful in other parts of the country and will provide somewhere that revellers in town on a night out can receive help and support, both medical and practical, which will hopefully minimise the number of A&E attendances along with reducing the risk of people being left vulnerable to crime.”

After the initial Christmas Safe Havens, it is intended to run the project on Saturday nights in the town centre including Bank Holidays and from June to September.