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Road crash victim support training offered free

A free training course to help health professionals support people affected by road crashes has been launched in the UK by BrakeCare, a division of Brake, the national road safety charity.

The training aims to help empower support workers to:

  • Gain a better understanding of different responses to trauma.
  • Provide vital support to families through knowledge of best practice in family liaison.
  • Give bereaved families practical advice about a range of issues surrounding a road crash, from organ donation to legal aid.
  • Gain the confidence to provide a sensitive and helpful service that aids victims’ recovery.
  • Help signpost victims to other local support services.

Delivered on-site, the course is aimed at hospital workers, chaplains, mental health teams in the NHS, and GPs.

This training is currently only available to health professionals in parts of England (the northwest, northeast and southeast), but Brake hopes to expand the project to other areas of the UK in the future.

Training courses can be tailored to the needs of delegates and can range from two hours to a full day.

The course, funded by a law firm, is delivered by Brake-trained volunteers who have been affected by a road crash and can provide personal insight from their experiences.

Speakers such as counsellors or legal experts may also present.

BrakeCare is dedicated to supporting people bereaved and injured by road crashes and is a national provider of support literature for road crash victims.

BrakeCare’s guide for families bereaved in road crashes is handed out by police following every death on the road in the UK.

BrakeCare provides support to those affected by road crashes through its telephone helpline (0845 603 8570).

BrakeCare also runs an annual national conference for professionals working with people traumatised by any sudden death or critical illness in the family.

Karen Eadsforth, staff counselling co-ordinator at Wythenshawe Hospital, UK, said: “The three BrakeCare training sessions we have held have been invaluable in helping staff and staff support workers improve their approach to patients and patients’ visitors.”

Sarah Fatica, head of BrakeCare, said: “A death on the road is sudden, violent and unexpected. Brake is urging all healthcare providers that work with people affected by road crashes to book a training course to ensure their staff are sufficiently prepared.”