Home Secretary visits King’s College Hospital

18 February 2019 - The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP discussed youth violence with staff in the Emergency Department

Sajid Javid, Tricia Fitzgerald, Emer Sutherland and John Poyton

The Home Secretary, Sajid Javid MP, has paid a visit to staff in the Emergency Department (ED) at King’s College Hospital in south London to discuss the issue of youth violence.

The Secretary of State met with Dr Emer Sutherland, Clinical Director for Emergency Medicine, Tricia Fitzgerald, Director of Nursing, and John Poyton, Chief Executive of the youth work charity Redthread. The trio established a partnership in 2005 to tackle youth violence, which has resulted in a team of youth workers being permanently based in the ED.

During the hour-long visit, the group discussed the treatment and care young people with knife injuries receive from the medical team when they arrive at hospital, as well as the psycho-social support offered by the Redthread youth workers.

They described how the doctors, nurses and other members of hospital staff treat the physical injuries while the youth workers support young patients by establishing their immediate needs, as well as helping them longer-term to make healthy choices and positive plans to disrupt the cycle of violence.

Following the visit, Dr Emer Sutherland, Clinical Director for Emergency Medicine at King’s College Hospital said, “We are delighted that the Home Secretary came to King’s to find out about the work being to address youth violence in the community. We are very proud of the partnership we have with Redthread. Together we care for injured young people physically and emotionally to help break the cycle of violence.”

John Poyton, Chief Executive of Redthread added, “We were delighted to host the Home Secretary at King’s College Hospital. We set up the first UK hospital-based violence intervention programme in partnership with King’s 14 years ago and today we have expanded to seven hospitals across London and the Midlands.

“We are grateful to the Home Office for their support as a funder of our work. Our intervention of supporting young people in the Emergency Department, on the wards and back out in the community is one of the many important parts of a public health approach to tackling violence.”

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said, “It was a privilege to come to King’s College Hospital and meet the frontline workers from Redthread, and the hospital staff, who deal with the consequences of knife crime all year round.

“I’ve been moved by their tireless efforts and vital work - intervening at critical moments with young victims to help break the cycle of violence.

“Knife crime has a devastating impact on victims, families and our communities and I am determined to do all we can to tackle it.”


For further information please contact:
Karen Welsh
Head of Communications
karen.welsh2@nhs.net
Extension: +44 (0)20 3299 3850