Adult survivors of sexual violence in Nottinghamshire will be offered enhanced therapeutic support with the launch of a new specialist hub.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping has been working with a host of partners including Bassetlaw Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Nottingham and Nottinghamshire CCG, Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council to improve the care and emotional recovery of adult victims of sexual abuse and violence.
Working with survivors, they have designed a pioneering vision of specialist support which will include a new Adult Sexual Violence Hub and Specialist Therapy Support Service and are inviting specialist providers to bid for the opportunity to run the new service.
It follows the outcome of a detailed Needs Assessment last year, conducted on behalf of the PCC, NHS England/NHS Improvement Midlands, which identified that a more centralised system of support was required for survivors of sexual violence and abuse in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
The hub, which will cost almost £950,000 per year to run and will be jointly funded by the PCC, local authorities and clinical commissioning groups, will enable survivors to access a broad range of support services from one place including one-to-one and group counselling, psychotherapy and other specialist treatment as well as information, advice and access to other services and NHS mental health .
Service users will also be signposted to other suitable pathways of help through the hub and given power to make decisions impacting on their future recovery.
Announcing the launch of the tender, Mr Tipping said: “The idea of a coordinated hub was identified by survivors themselves who were consulted extensively as part of our Needs Assessment last year. Clearly, accessing therapy can be a complex process and it’s vital we make that journey as smooth and simple as possible to reduce the stress and trauma already experienced by these survivors. This is why it’s crucial to group services in one place.
“Violence and abuse of this kind leaves emotional scars and suffering that can last for decades and I want to ensure specialist therapeutic support is available - at the earliest opportunity - to help people successfully move on with their lives.
“This model has been co-produced with the very people it is designed to help. Survivors are at the very heart of the new service and will continue to inform and advise on the future care and provision of support services to ensure Nottinghamshire meets the needs of all survivors with consistent, non-judgemental and effective help.”
The new model of care will increase partnership working around sexual violence and abuse to address the barriers faced by survivors and raise awareness of the issues. The bidder will work closely with commissioned mental health, substance misuse and domestic abuse support services in Nottinghamshire to ensure help is delivered seamlessly.
Proactive engagement with survivors will continue through a special focus group and some survivors will be invited to score bids while others will form part of a panel designed to assess prospective providers about their ideas on survivor engagement.
The successful bidder will also be expected to seek further external funding to develop a peer support network including volunteering opportunities for survivors.
Although support will be provided to survivors aged 18 and over, the model has been built with some flexibility to support 16 and 17-year-olds in the adult service if appropriate. There is also scope to expand the service in the future should further national funding become available.
The tendering process will close in August and the preferred bidder will be notified in September. The service is due to be delivered between January 2021 and December 2023, with two possible one-year extensions.
David Hollas, who leads the campaign for the Nottinghamshire Child Sexual Abuse Survivors Group, said: "This new service sets a new standard for others to follow in delivering vital support services to those that have sadly suffered the trauma of sexual violence and abuse. It demonstrates the benefits of a cohesive, coordinated approach of the authorities working together and engaging those with lived experience to design a service they need and will undoubtedly benefit from."
Cllr Rebecca Langton, Portfolio Holder for Communities at Nottingham City Council, said: “We have listened to survivors and professionals to carefully design these new services. By listening and understanding we’ve worked together to create a safe, wrap around service to support survivors through their individual journey.
“The model for the new service is based on trauma-informed care and will help survivors to rebuild a sense of control and empowerment. We will not tolerate any form of sexual violence in Nottingham and the creation of the new hub and therapy service shows what can be achieved when we work together with survivors”.
Councillor Kay Cutts MBE, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council said: “This new service is vital to those affected by sexual violence, and I am pleased that the County Council is able to play its part by dedicating funds to this important initiative. There is no place for sexual violence in our society and I abhor it. That said, if it does happen, we really must do our best to offer assistance in the most joined up way possible. In my view, the work that we have done across agencies to assess need and commission a response, demonstrates that we are listening to the survivors of sexual violence, and committed to meeting their needs.”
Rosa Waddingham, chief nurse at NHS Nottinghamshire and Nottingham CCG, said: "The CCG are proud to be a partner in this new sexual violence survivor service which will provide emotional and therapeutic support to victims of sexual abuse and assault, and ensure smooth and timely access to other support services. This new service could not have been achieved without the help and support of survivors, their guidance and feedback has been integral to the specialist design of the service."
If you need support and advice ahead of the new service opening, please contact the current Nottingham City provider: Nottinghamshire Sexual Violence Support Services (Notts SVS Services) https://nottssvss.org.uk/
Media enquiries: Sallie Blair 07702 541401
Posted on Friday 19th June 2020