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More St John late night treatment centres

The first aid charity St John Ambulance reports it’s to run more treatment centres in the weeks of the festive season. The roll-out of new provision in cities such as Leeds and Nottingham comes as figures from the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) reveal that 274 incidents of injection spiking alone were reported over the last two months.

The charity already runs ‘safe spaces’ with uniformed first aiders in such cities as Birmingham (pictured), Newcastle, Manchester and Norwich in the small hours of Friday and Saturday night.

Jade Quittenton, a Community Operations Manager at St John Ambulance, says: “Our night-time economy programme offers safe treatment spaces where St John Ambulance teams provide medical help for revellers seeking help during a night out, and we’re seeing greater demand for our services as more suspected spiking incidents are reported. Having highly-trained first aiders and healthcare professionals on hand, close to pubs and clubs, means treatment is available when people need it most.

“Concerns around the rise in spikings is one of the reasons we’re accelerating the rollout of our support for safer nights out across England. Our volunteers can care for anyone who’s worse for wear, sick or injured, and take people to the Emergency Department if they need that, but we also relieve support on health services by preventing unnecessary hospital admissions.

“More than that, we can signpost to other services, provide some much-needed TLC and – importantly – provide safe spaces for anyone vulnerable to wait for transportation home rather than leaving them waiting on dark streets.”

St John Ambulance has also offered information to look out for in relation to the increasing reports of spiking incidents in pubs and clubs. Dr Lynn Thomas, Medical Director at the charity, advises revellers to look out for loss of balance, fatigue, lowering of inhibitions, visual problems, confusion, vomiting and unconsciousness as signs that someone may have been spiked. St John Ambulance has advice on how to avoid being spiked, plus what to do if you think you or one of your friends has fallen victim to a spiking incident:

How to avoid being spiked:

Stay with your friends
Look out for one another
Don’t accept a drink you didn’t see get poured or opened at the bar
Never leave a drink unattended
Cover your drink with your hand.

What to do when you think you or someone else has been spiked:

Stay with your friends
Alert the venue’s bar staff, security team or management, and the police, including reporting any suspicious activity or behaviour
Call 999 for an ambulance if you believe you have been spiked – especially if there is loss of consciousness, breathing difficulties, or abnormal or impaired sight. Or call 111 for any other health concerns.

St John Ambulance recently released new standards for first aid provision which stress increased survivability in cases of stabbings and terrorism attacks.


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