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  • Writer's pictureMike Gill

Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) are pivotal in providing support and care for survivors of sexual assault. To ensure the effective delivery of services, skilled professionals alone are not enough; suitable premises are equally crucial. In this blog post, we will delve into the transformative impact of premises improvements on SARC services. Additionally, we will underscore the importance of UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accreditation in upholding the highest standards of care. Throughout this discussion, we will emphasise At Scale's collaborative efforts with NHSE, NHS Property Services, police, Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC), clinicians, and victim voices to develop SARC premises that meet these standards.

Enhanced Safety and Privacy

Premises improvements in SARCs play a direct role in underpinning the safety and privacy of survivors. These improvements encompass a range of measures, including additional space and capacity, secure entry systems, private waiting areas, and dedicated examination rooms. By creating a secure and confidential environment, SARCs empower survivors to feel more comfortable and supported throughout the process. This, in turn, positively impacts their overall experience and willingness to engage with services, fostering a stronger sense of trust.

Improved Evidence Collection and Forensic Examinations

Premises improvements encompass the incorporation of additional space, state-of-the-art technology and equipment for evidence collection and forensically secure examinations. By updating facilities, SARCs can enhance the effectiveness of these critical processes, providing vital evidence for investigations and increasing the chances of justice for survivors. Equipped with proper resources, skilled professionals can conduct thorough examinations, leading to robust forensic evidence and assuring the quality of investigations.

Compliance with UKAS Accreditation Standards

Ensuring high-quality care in SARCs necessitates UKAS accreditation. This accreditation signifies that a SARC meets the specific standards set by the esteemed organisation, including premises requirements. Premises improvements are a key component of ensuring SARCs can satisfy these standards and achieve accreditation. By obtaining UKAS accreditation, SARCs demonstrate their unwavering commitment to delivering safe, effective, and person-centred services. Furthermore, accreditation fosters public confidence in the organisation's capabilities while nurturing a culture of continuous improvement.

Accessibility for All Individuals

Premises improvements are essential in ensuring the accessibility of SARC services for individuals with diverse needs, including disabilities. These upgrades encompass various features, such as wheelchair accessibility, sensory-friendly environments, and interpretation services. By creating an inclusive environment, SARCs can more effectively cater to the unique requirements of survivors, promoting equal access to vital support services for all individuals.

To enhance the delivery of services for survivors of sexual assault, premises improvements within SARCs are of paramount importance. Upgraded facilities significantly contribute to the safety, privacy, and accessibility of these centres, creating a more supportive environment overall. Moreover, premises improvements are aligned with the requirements for UKAS accreditation, which signifies a commitment to upholding the highest standards of care. By investing in premises improvements and achieving accreditation, SARCs can provide survivors with the best possible care, cultivate public trust, and facilitate the healing and recovery process. It is imperative that SARCs continue prioritising premises improvements as a fundamental component of delivering high-quality, survivor-centred services.

For specific details on how we have worked with SARC premises before, head to our blog:


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