20 May 2015 - A Safe Haven for Blackpool

Safe Haven Blackpool

Party-goers and visitors in Blackpool are once again being given a ‘Night Safe Haven’ which offers support to vulnerable people within the town centre at night-time.

Co-ordinated by North West Ambulance Service and commissioned by Blackpool Council, the scheme, which has been running for over four years, offers immediate safety and medical attention in a purpose built facility aimed at reducing the number of patients admitted to Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s Emergency Department due to alcohol related injuries.

The latest scheme will begin on Saturday 23 May and run for 29 consecutive Saturday nights from 9pm until 4am as this has been identified as a busy period for the town centre.

Dave Rigby, Sector Manager at North West Ambulance Service, said: “We have run this scheme with great success in the past, even receiving local and national recognition. We work with our partners to provide much needed support to people who have consumed too much alcohol, experienced physical violence, taken drugs or have lost their friends and family.

“Blackpool is a particularly popular night-time destination and has been identified as a hotspot making this service extremely cost-effective as each year it helps in reducing Emergency Department admissions and provides relief to other local medical services including ambulances.”

North West Ambulance Service staffs the facility along with partners from St John’s Ambulance, Blackpool Horizon Drugs & Alcohol Adult Harm Reduction, and Blackpool Community Nursing team.  The scheme is also supported by the Street Angels and Pastors along with Lancashire Constabulary.

Dr Arif Rajpura, Blackpool Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “Like everywhere else in the country, Saturday night can be a busy one for public services such as the NHS and police.

“The Night Safe Haven takes some of the strain away from those services, allowing people in a vulnerable position to be looked after appropriately while preventing some of the calls that put extra pressure on the emergency services.”

Located on the apron outside Blackpool Town Hall, the Night Safe Haven also offers advice on drug use, safe sex and how to find help for various medical issues along with mental health.

Dave Rigby continues: “Users can be signposted to the vehicle by Street Pastors, Police or bar staff and as local people are now aware of its presence, it has become a recognised support system making people feel safer in the town during the evening.”