NHS to send surgeons into schools to combat knife crime epidemic

The health service has appointed its first “violence reduction” tsar in a bid to cut levels of violence, by educating children about the consequences of stabbings. The Telegraph reports

The radical schemes will also see youth workers helping victims of gang crime while they are still being treated in hospital to help break the cycle of violence  

Simon Stevens, head of the NHS, said hospitals needed to have a “wider role” acting on major issues affecting society, such as knife crime.

The number of teenagers admitted to hospital as a result of stabbings has risen by 55 per cent in six years, with almost 5,000 such admissions last year in England among all age groups.

The NHS has appointed Martin Griffiths, a surgeon at Barts Health NHS Trust in London, as clinical director for violence reduction in London, with plans to expand the schemes across the country over the next year.

Mr Griffiths has spent the past decade visiting schools to lecture on the dangers of carrying weapons, with youth workers brought into wards to counsel victims of crime, and help them escape gang culture.

Mr Griffiths said: “Every day I see the wasted opportunities of young people stuck on hospital wards with life-changing injuries.

“We do everything we can for these patients but don’t just want to patch them up and send them back out to be injured again. And by working together across the NHS there is more we can do to prevent these attacks happening in the first place.”

Read more NHS to send surgeons into schools to combat knife crime epidemic 

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