A referral centre which helps about 400 victims of serious assault and rape in Lincolnshire each year will continue to operate for a further three year after securing a new contract.
Spring Lodge is the only specialist sexual assault referral centre for the county, dedicated to providing a comprehensive service in a safe, confidential and caring environment to men and women who have been abused.
This includes collection of forensic evidence following an incident, providing emotional and practical advice on the options available and continued support for anyone who wishes to proceed with a criminal conviction, throughout the criminal justice process.
The service has been operating from their Lincoln base for eight years and following a competitive tender process was successfully awarded the contract by NHS England and Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner to continue to provide the free, confidential service to anyone over the age of 18 living in Lincolnshire.
Amanda Farquhar, service manager for Spring Lodge said: “We are extremely pleased to be able to continue our work with victims of sexual assault and rape and that the service is remaining as part of local mental health services provided by Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
“Our services are well placed to support someone with the help they may need during a difficult time in their life.
“This new contract means we are able to continue to help the many people we are currently supporting and be here to guide and advise anyone who may need us in the future.”
Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Marc Jones, who together with NHS England has funded the continuation of this vital service in the county, said: “It is absolutely crucial that victims of sexual crimes are able to get assistance that is both emotionally supportive and practical.
“I take very seriously the responsibility for commissioning essential services for victims and survivors of all crimes but ensuring our provision for serious sexual assaults is the best we can provide is paramount to me.
“I am delighted the high standards of care we have provided to date will continue for both men and women across the county.
“No-one should suffer through this kind of ordeal alone and the services provided by Spring Lodge will offer help and guidance for anyone who needs it from evidence gathering through to trial.”
Detective Superintendent Rick Hatton, Head of Public Protection Unit for Lincolnshire Police added: “This service is fundamental to the continuing care we give to victims. Having such a specialised service, independent of the police, is key in providing reassurance and access to specialist staff.
“We have worked for many years with this excellent facility and invested heavily in our partnership, which has seen service users receiving first class care and recovery services which meet and exceed their needs.
“The service not only provides care for those within the Criminal Justice arena, but also confidential services for those who seek them.
“I have found the staff incredibly professional, skilled and supportive and this contributes to the success of the centre.”
• Anyone over the age of 18 can access Spring Lodge for support or advice following a serious assault and rape.
The service is open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday but can be contacted at any time or any day for help:
• Telephone – 01522 524 402 (office hours, 9am – 5pm)
• Telephone – 0800 953 4130 (all other times) or call 999 in an emergency
• Email – firstname.lastname@example.org (email response is only during office hours)