Posted on 17th December 2014
A triage service offering revellers in Derby a safe place to seek medical attention or help is being opened over Christmas and New Year.
From this weekend, people who have been out at night in the city centre will be able to visit the Central United Reformed Church, in Becketwell Lane, for help.
Medical staff will be at the church to treat people who have suffered minor injuries that do not require urgent attention at A&E. Police will also be based at the station to ensure that revellers in the city are safe from harm.
The triage point will also have a ‘safe haven’ on an upper floor of the church. This can be used by people who are feeling unwell while officers make contact with their friends or family and arrange for them to be safely escorted home.
It is a joint project between Derbyshire police, Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, East Midlands Ambulance Service and the Street Pastors.
The centre opens its doors from 10pm to 3am this Friday and Saturday. It will also open on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
Due to the success of the scheme last year, it will also continue to run throughout 2015, on Bank Holiday and traditional payday weekends.
Sergeant Rich Buxton, who is involved in the project, said: “The triage centre and the safe haven are aimed at making sure people can enjoy a night out in Derby safely.
“If they need medical assistance then they can stop by, and we will also be keeping an eye out for people who have had too much to drink and could be at risk of coming to harm.
“Anyone who visits will be in the safe hands of police and medical experts, and the response we had to the scheme in previous times has been great.
“Hopefully, there will be no need for anyone to visit, but the scheme gives people the peace of mind that if they do need help, it is on hand right in the city centre.”
The triage centre is also aimed at easing the burden placed on the emergency services during the festive period and other busy weekends throughout the year.
It is hoped that by offering people medical attention for non-urgent injuries, the number of accident and emergency admissions or police and ambulance call-outs will reduce.
Derby Hospitals’ general manager for acute medicine, Jenny Deakin, said: “Our highly skilled emergency doctors and nurses from the Royal Derby Hospital will be working alongside EMAS, the Street Pastors and police to assess and treat people who are enjoying a night out in Derby over the festive period.
“The service will provide assessment and care for people who have got into some difficulty whilst they’re out on weekend evenings in Derby; it will avoid them going unnecessarily to A&E, which needs to be kept for genuine medical emergencies.”
The payday weekends on which the triage centre will also be running fall on the last Friday and Saturday of each month throughout 2015.
It will also be open to the public on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Easter weekend (April 3, 4 and 5), and also on a number of other Bank Holidays.
Joy Weldin, South Derbyshire locality manager at East Midlands Ambulance Service said: “We’re really pleased to be a part of this scheme, which is a great example of partnership working.
“Sadly, many people over indulge at this time of year and suffer an illness or injury. This scheme is all about providing them with help and support to avoid an unnecessary trip to A&E.
“The festive season always puts us under significant pressure and anything which reduces the demand on our 999 service is to be applauded, as it means frontline crews are free to respond to life-threatening calls.”
Reverend Jim Gould, from the Central United Reformed Church, said: “We are delighted to be a part of this initiative. Being situated in the ‘clubland’ area of Derby, our position for this kind of service really is spot on.
“The Central United Reformed Church is also the local operating point for Derby’s Street Pastors, and one of the venues for the churches’ Winter Night Shelter scheme.
“That work matches well with the triage and safe haven and we will be supporting our police, ambulance and NHS partners with prayer and practical help.”