Rape and sexual abuse information pack rolled out

National distribution for innovative NHS Lothian pilot pack

An information resource pack piloted in NHS Lothian is being rolled out across Scotland.

The booklet developed to aid survivors of rape, sexual abuse and childhood sexual abuse is being made available to GP practices across the country.

The recently piloted resource booklet has been developed by The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Scotland patient group, Patient Partnership in Practice (P3), NHS Gender Based Violence Team and Edinburgh Women's Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (EWRASAC).

The pack provides GPs with information to help them confidently respond, signpost, and refer survivors of rape, sexual abuse and adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse onto specialist voluntary sector services.

Lesley Johnston, NHS Advisor on Gender Based Violence said:

 "Evidence shows that survivors of rape and sexual abuse often disclose details of past and current abuse to their GPs.
"This resource provides guidance to GPs and covers helpful reactions to hearing about abuse as well as factual information. It includes practical advice for patients on the possible physical and emotional effects, as well as how to access further local specialist services."

Resource leaflets were piloted in the Lothian area in November 2009, with a copy sent to all GP practices.

 "Many subsequent requests came in from other health professionals with was a very successful pilot with lots of extremely positive feedback in Lothian," Lesley continued.

 "ItWorking with colleagues from the NHS Gender Based Violence Team, RCGP Scotland, Rape Crisis Scotland and EWRASAC - the resource pack will be distributed to GP practices all over Scotland with tailored local contact details included.

Caroline Burrell, Centre Coordinator, EWRASAC said:

"Rape and sexual abuse are devastating and serious crimes, and speaking out about them takes tremendous courage. It's very important that people receive a supportive response along with information about specialist services which may be able to help, such as rape crisis centres. This pack can help make a significant difference to those affected across Scotland."

Chair of RCGP Scotland, Dr John Gillies commented:

 "This resource pack eases the coping process by providing well-informed guidance to GP teams and invaluable advice for the patients themselves."

Melanie Hornett, Director of Nursing, NHS Lothian added:

"I'm delighted with the success of this resource in Lothian. We are committed to supporting a range of initiatives relating to improving services and responses to those affected by rape, sexual abuse and adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse."

The success of the resource pack pilot in Lothian was noted in a Health Ministerial Address at the recent RCGP Scotland Awards Gala.