Youth workers will soon be introduced into the A&E department of Croydon's hospital to work with young people caught up in violent crime.

It was announced by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan last week that Croydon Health Services NHS Trust secured funding so that the youth workers can support those who arrive at A&E with injuries.

The initiative, which will launch in Croydon for the first time ever, allows youth workers to intervene much earlier and engage with young people when they arrive at hospital with less serious injuries.

Sarah McLaggan, head of children’s nursing said: “We’re incredibly pleased to benefit from additional support in our A&E department, ensuring we can offer young people access to a specialist youth worker to engage with them before they suffer serious violence.

“Croydon is home to more young people than any other London borough - we have 93,000 under 18s.

“We’re already working closely with young people and our partners on this issue. We’ve trained our own A&E staff to spot the signs of gang violence and since Croydon Council launched its Choose Your Future campaign at the end of 2017, the borough has seen a 12 per cent drop in knife crime, bucking the trend elsewhere in the capital.

“Thanks to this additional funding, we’ll be able to offer early intervention, more easily to Croydon’s young people if and when they need it.”

This investment will also provide an increase in the number of specialist youth workers already based in London’s four Major Trauma Centres – Kings, St George’s, St Marys and the Royal London hospitals.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “It is a tragedy that our city is being robbed of young people with so much potential and it is vital we do all we can to help them move away from a life of violence.

“Embedding youth workers in hospitals has already made a profound difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable young Londoners, reaching them at a crucial junction in their lives and helping them choose a different path away from violence.

"This is why I am investing record amounts to significantly expand this work and introduce specialist youth workers to more A&E departments.”