Safe Haven receives Christmas cash boost to protect the public over festive period

Safe Haven receives Christmas cash boost to protect the public over festive period

A service which offers a safe space for night time revellers has been extended over the Christmas and New Year period.

The Safe Haven service, which is jointly funded by North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) and the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, provides a secure environment to pass on safety information and give medical assistance to anyone who might need it in Newcastle city centre every weekend.

The service operates from St Nicholas Street in Newcastle from 11pm-5am on Friday and Saturday evenings throughout the year. It consists of a treatment centre, manned by St John Ambulance staff and volunteers including, Newcastle’s Street Pastors, as well as police presence and dedicated ambulance, available to transfer patients from the surrounding area to the treatment centre and to hospital if required.

Additional funding provided by NHS England means NEAS can extend the service throughout the festive period and until the end of January, allowing it to run from 8pm-4am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.

The funding will also allow NEAS to provide a second treatment centre, which will be stationed outside The Gate leisure complex, in Newgate Street, available from 8pm-4am on:

  • 22 December
  • 23 December
  • 26 December
  • 29 December
  • 30 December
  • 31 December

A dedicated paramedic-led ambulance will also be provided to support both treatment centres.

Claire Jobling, clinical service manager at NEAS, said: “This additional funding allows us to extend this service at a time that is one of the busiest times of the year for us and our NHS and emergency services.

“The Safe Haven service is a well-used community resource which we’re proud to be able to provide alongside our police and St John Ambulance colleagues to keep people safe.

“Although it is a useful resource in managing alcohol related incidents, which has a big impact on our service at this time of year, it offers so much more than that. Whether it’s helping someone who has been assaulted or simply helping a vulnerable person find a taxi to get home, this resource is a recognised service where people know they can go to seek medical assistance or for help if they are feeling vulnerable or lost.

“At the same time, it helps us reduce the impact on front-line policing and ambulances and relieve pressure on local hospitals by preventing people from unnecessarily attending the emergency department where it is safe to do so.

“We hope you won’t need to use this service if you’re out in Newcastle city centre over the festive period, but rest assured we’re here to help you if you do.”

Christmas and New Year revellers are reminded of the following advice when enjoying this year’s festivities:

  • Make sure you have plans to get home, including pre-booking your taxi and ensuring you save aside enough money to pay for it;
  • Wear adequate clothing to keep warm amid freezing temperatures;
  • Drink responsibly, ideally by pacing yourself with water in between your drinks;
  • Don’t leave without your phone and keys;
  • Do not leave your drinks unattended;
  • Look out for your friends – do not leave each other alone and make sure you all get home safely;
  • Only call 999 in a life-threatening emergency

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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