Funding for more youth workers in London hospitals

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced new investment to increase the number of youth workers in hospitals across the city and help steer young people away from violence.

The investment of over £4 million will provide an increase in the number of specialist youth workers already based in London’s four Major Trauma Centres (Kings, St George’s, St Marys and the Royal London hospitals). Moreover, it will fund additional teams of youth workers to be based for the first time in five A&E hospitals in areas with high levels of young victims of violent crime.

These are Newham General Hospital in Plaistow, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, Croydon University Hospital, University Hospital Lewisham and Whittington Hospital, covering Islington and Haringey.  

Youth workers based in hospital departments has shown that young people who arrive at London’s Major Trauma Centres with serious injuries will have been to A&E previously with lower level injuries. Basing youth workers in A&E departments lets them intervene much earlier and engage with young people when they arrive at hospital with injuries – the time when they are most receptive to changing their behaviour.

The funding from Khan will now mean that City Hall is funding more than half of all the youth worker posts in London hospitals.

Khan said: “It is a tragedy that our city is being robbed of young people with so much potential and it is vital we do all we can to help them move away from a life of violence. Embedding youth workers in hospitals has already made a profound difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable young Londoners, reaching them at a crucial junction in their lives and helping them choose a different path away from violence. This is why I am investing record amounts to significantly expand this work and introduce specialist youth workers to more A&E departments.”

Last year, more than 1,000 young people were identified as in need of specialist youth worker support in London’s Major Trauma Centres, due to potentially suffering violence or exploitation. Youth workers were able to help 432 young people last year, aiding them in moving away from violence in their lives and assisting with education, relationships or housing.

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