Let me tell you a #knifecrime story I dealt with last week as a GP in #Croydon which has a lot of knife crime and loads of chicken shops.
Social services @yourcroydon rang me to ask whether I had any background information on a teenage patient of mine who absconded from A&E after having a stab wound sutured. Didn’t explain how it happened and left before the police and social workers came #KnifeFree
Yes I did!
Parents had been worried about him for several years due to disruption and behaviour problems at school.
Under resourced school didn’t have the capacity to give him pastoral care and asked parents to see GP to get a referral to adolescent mental health services.
Parents and child saw us and explained school was worried he had ADHD or similar and asked if we could refer to mental health services(which school can do directly but often ask GPs to do it thinking they will get seen quicker)
We sent the referral to #CAMHS #KnifeFree
Under resourced child and adolescent mental health services(CAMHS)were unable to take the referral as they are overwhelmed with serious mental illness patients and asked for child to be directed to youth counselling and pastoral care at school #KnifeFree
Parents now dealing with child who was becoming more difficult to engage and being excluded from school because of his behaviour.
After 2 years of worsening behaviour and increased time excluded from school parents returned asking if they could see someone privately #KnifeFree
Signposted parents to a number of private counsellors/psychologists but no proper engagement and no further visits to the surgery until the A&E letter comes to us demonstrating he has become a victim of #knifecrime
So would #KnifeFree stories in his local Morley’s/Chicken Cottage have prevented his journey?Or more police on the streets and stop and search as advocated by @patel4witham
Or would proper funding of public services like schools, youth,GP and mental health services helped more?
#austerity and the cuts to public services is the real #knifecrime we need to tackle if we want to prevent more journeys like my patients.
Chicken shop messaging is a cheap political stunt pandering to public fears and prejudice.
A serious approach is to use #publichealth approaches to #knifecrime #violencereduction and consult with @SadiqKhan and the pioneers of this in Glasgow.
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