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UK’s first Emergency Adolescent Service at King’s

August 30th, 2011

In the process of designing the new Redthread website we realised that some of our previous content had got lost.  Below is a copy of a press release from September 2006 which described how Redthread Director John Poyton helped to establish the groundbreaking Emergency Adolescent Service at King’s College Hospital.

27 September 2006 – In response to increasing numbers of young people attending the Emergency Department, King’s College Hospital has introduced an emergency adolescent service, the first of its kind in the UK.

Last year King’s saw over 9,500 emergency patients aged between 12 and 19 years, at its South London location. King’s is seeing a definite increase in young people attending the department, for reasons related to violence, sexual health, substance abuse and self-harm. With this in mind King’s is taking a radical new approach in the care of young people.

The new Emergency Adolescent Room (EAR) will provide young people with a dedicated area specifically designed to cater to their needs and interests, and is teenage friendly with the use of a computer, music station and TV. In addition to providing the standard emergency services the new adolescent service offers support, advice and counseling from youth worker, John Poyton.

John has over 10 years of experience working with young people and can give help and advice on a range of issues. Users of the service will also be able to access links to, and information on relevant organisations, that provide services to young people not offered in an Emergency Department environment.

Tricia Fitzgerald, Head of Nursing in the Emergency Department at King’s commented: “It is vital that we provide the best possible service for all using the Emergency Department. Staff became aware that the needs of young people weren’t entirely being met. With the advent of the Emergency Adolescent Service we can now offer young people the help and support that they need, in an environment dedicated to them. This service will allow us to sign post services early to potentially vulnerable adolescents.

“Having services like this in our emergency departments can only help to support them at times of crises and we hope that young people will find this service of great benefit.”

As well as providing better care for young patients, the new service will create links and relationships with key organisations and groups.

John Poyton, EAR Youth Worker commented: “With the number of assaults rising and the breadth of issues facing adolescents increasing, EAR hopes to enable support, signposting and someone to listen for those who find themselves in crisis. The new service gives us the opportunity to engage with young people during the vulnerable transitional age of adolescent. Having this within an emergency environment now means we are able to provide the support and advice needed at the time of an incident, working almost like a one stop shop for troubled and victimised young people.”

The Emergency Department Adolescent Room and adolescent youth services are available for all patients aged between 12 and 19 years old presenting at King’s College Hospital Emergency Department. The Emergency Adolescent Room is open to young patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with Youth Worker, John Poyton available two days a week, who sees patients presenting whilst on duty, and follows up with those who have been seen in the Emergency Department previously.


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