West Midlands PSAS – information for clients
The West Midlands Paediatric Sexual Assault Service is a region-wide service which provides expert care for children and young people who have disclosed sexual assault, or who may have been subject to sexual abuse. Our service can be accessed by children and young people under 18 years of age.
Where does the service take place?
We offer a safe, welcoming and comfortable environment which focuses on the needs of
the individual. We have four centres serving the West Midlands:
• Blue Sky Centre, George Elliot Hospital, Nuneaton
• Oasis Suite, Birmingham Children’s Hospital
Is the service confidential?
Yes. We will treat all information that you share with us as confidential and store it safely and securely. However, there may be occasions when other agencies such as the police or social services will need to be informed if we think you are at risk of harm.
What happens when I am at the centre?
A crisis worker will be available to support you throughout your time at our centre. The crisis worker will strive to ensure that your visit to the centre goes smoothly and will keep you informed of the procedures that will take place during your visit.
When attending our centre, you will be seen by an experienced Paediatrician who is a children’s doctor with specialist training in forensic examination. They will carry out a full medical assessment.
This will involve a number of questions being asked and you will be given the opportunity to ask questions too. A head-to-toe examination and samples for tests may be taken.
You can say ‘no’ to any part of the examination and we will always respect your wishes.
The doctor will see if you have any other health needs. This might include assessing whether you may benefit from emergency contraception such as the morning after pill or whether you may need any treatment to prevent infections.
What if I don’t want to involve police or children’s services?
We do accept self-referrals, and are able to store forensic samples whilst you decide if you wish to make a police report. We will always look to ensure you are safe and this may include sharing information with other agencies.
What if I change my mind?
If at any point you do not wish to carry on with the examination, we can take a short break and discuss what part of the examination is left to do and see if we can get the most important information. Even if the examination doesn’t continue we will still make sure your health needs are met and that you can have aftercare support.
How long will I be at the centre?
If you attend for a forensic examination the average time you will spend at the centre is approximately 2 – 4 hours.
Can I be tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
We strongly recommend that all young people who have been sexually assaulted or raped undertake a full STI test. We offer an STI screen at the time of the examination, where appropriate. For young people aged 13 years and above, we can also make an appointment for you to attend your local sexual health clinic or provide details for you to contact them directly.
What happens after the examination?
You will be provided with an aftercare package tailored to suit you. You will be contacted to assess your needs for counselling and additional support.
Counselling provides a safe space to talk about what has happened to you. It is somewhere you can express your feelings and be believed, heard and accepted. You will never be pressured into talking about something you do not want to talk about. You choose what to say. Counselling can include talking, playing and artwork, it depends what works best for you.
We are specialist counsellors who are trained in talking to and supporting children and young people who have been sexually abused and understand how difficult it can be to talk about.
We work with children and young people aged 5 – 17 years old and also parents and carers of children aged below 5 years old. The counselling can take place in a number of different locations so that we can find a place that is comfortable and feels safe for you.
West Midlands Paediatric Sexual Assault Service
0800 953 4133 for self-referrals
0800 953 4131 for referrals from professionals or agencies.
General enquiries –pSASWestMids@uk.g4s.com
Sharing confidential information (including referrals) –pSASWestMids@uk.g4s.com.cjsm.net