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Health ministers set ‘standard’ to cut violence

25 September 2014

Prof Jonathan Shepherd
Professor Jonathan Shepherd

A new 'standard' on sharing information to reduce violence is to be adopted across England – thanks to pioneering work by Cardiff University researchers.

The benchmark requires Accident and Emergency departments to share specified, non-confidential information about the location of violence which will allow police and local authorities to target crime hotspots.

Studies by Cardiff University's Violence and Society Research Group led to the development of the standard, which has been published to support implementation and speed up adoption across England and more widely.

The Group's pioneering Cardiff Violence Prevention Programme, led by Professor Jonathan Shepherd, has already shown the 'Cardiff model' of data sharing can cut the severity of injuries and A&E attendances resulting from violent incidents by more than a third.

Now, the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSIC) has introduced a standard requiring major NHS A&E departments in England to collect and share specified data on violence, including the time, date, and precise location of an incident, plus the means of assault.

Professor Jonathan Shepherd said, "This is a major step forward in the drive to reduce violence and the burdens violence places on victims, the criminal justice system and the NHS".

"The implementation of this pioneering enterprise is a core coalition government commitment. A significant proportion of A&Es are already complying. The information standard also ensures that IT suppliers to the NHS include this dataset in their software, helping to ensure implementation across all UK countries."

The Cardiff Model was adopted by the Labour Government in 2008 and then, more formally, by the Coalition in 2010. It had previously been adopted across Wales from 2005.