Prioritise healthcare

Getting the right healthcare for you and your loved one is fundamental to ensuring the best chance of a successful recovery.

You and your loved one’s health is more important than anything else.

As we all know, the NHS is stretched. Advocating and supporting your loved one to access services can be very difficult but in general, once you have navigated the system, healthcare professionals are kind and want to help offer the best service they can to their patients. For some survivors of sexual or violent crime, the sheer number of different health professionals they need to work with is daunting. One bad experience can negatively impact expectations of the next person they need to see, regardless of the branch or specialism. On the other hand, a good experience will add confidence and make the next appointment, regardless who it’s with, easier.  Carers and loved ones can help enormously by ensuring that health professionals are well-informed and prepared with the right information before treatment starts.

People living with trauma and their carers face health inequalities that reduce life expectancy and quality. Sometimes this is blamed on lifestyle ‘choices’ but it is also due traumatic experiences, anxiety, assumptions by healthcare professionals and accessibility.

Know your services

Below are some suggestions of the types of services you should be receiving from various health care providers and how to get the most out of each service. Be aware that whilst each service should coordinate and liaise with each other, the reality is that they often use different IT systems that don’t connect, so they may not be aware of other services you’re receiving.

Never assume that the various specialists you or your loved one sees has any idea what anyone else is doing. It’s realistic to assume that you may have information that a specialist does not know about. It may be stuck in the system or another specialist may not have updated their records before you see someone else. Writing down the names, specialisms and current treatment of people your loved one is seeing, plus any medication they are taking will save time, assist health professionals to treat your loved one better and reduce your own stress and anxiety.