Call 0330 223 0099

PROFESSIONALS

This page is for professionals working within agencies such as police, health and social care, local authorities and the public sector who may wish to refer to the SARC or familiarise themselves with our services.

All professionals can refer adults and young people over the age of 13, with their consent.

Children under 13 will need to be referred via the Police and/or Social Care.

For further information or training from our SARC, please get in touch by calling 0330 223 0099 or emailing us at essex.sarc@nhs.net (email is monitored from 9 am – 9 pm Monday to Sunday).

our serviceS

We offer both paediatric and adult services. To refer someone to our service, call us on 0330 223 0099 at any time. Our comprehensive range of services includes:
  • Immediate over-the-phone support and referrals to specialist services
  • In-person crisis support and healthcare including access to medicine
  • Forensic medical examinations
  • Holistic examinations and care for non-recent cases
  • Collection and storage of forensic samples
  • Comprehensive Risk Assessments
  • Patient access to specialist counselling and Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVA) support
  • Onward service referrals and follow-up calls

PATIENTS 12 YEARS AND YOUNGER

Paediatric clinics, for children aged 12 and under, are provided by specialist forensic medical examiners (doctors) with paediatric competencies. To refer a child to the SARC, please follow your organisational Safeguarding Policy/ Essex SET procedures. For further information see our Paediatric Pathway below

This video from the Child Sexual Abuse Centre offers a good overview of the medical examination. Please take a look to learn more and contact us if you have any queries.

PROJECT GOLDCREST

Project Goldcrest in an initiative, designed collaboratively by Essex Police, Oakwood Place SARC, Thurrock and Essex Children’s Social Care, Thurrock LSCP, ESCB, SERICC and Essex CCGs with input from young people through focus group discussions.

It was recognised that many young people say that Police/Social Care involvement can be a barrier to reporting child sexual exploitation (CSE), sexual violence and sexual abuse. So, whilst police referrals and self-referrals into the SARC are preferable (for both criminal justice outcomes and improving patient outcomes), obtaining anonymous evidence and having some contact with the young person is better than none at all.

Project Goldcrest allows young people (who have already been identified as being at risk of CSE) to take their own forensic samples at home, with someone with parental responsibility (or an appropriate adult) as a witness. Their information, along with their bagged exhibits, are provided to the police and stored for 25 years. The young person remains anonymous to the police (unless they later decide they want to formally report) but the police gain valuable information, intelligence, and evidence which is recorded on their database.

Each young person who is chosen to participate in the project is provided with an information pack and a Self-Administered Forensic Evidence (SAFE) box (which is replaced each time they send one back for storage). They are given full instructions and access to instructional videos, featuring a specially trained Forensic Nurse Examiner. More about the project can be found by clicking below.

If you are a professional who would like to refer a young person to this project, please contact Oakwood Place.

before an appointment

A patient may have been asked by Oakwood Place or another professional to not wash their body or drink hot liquids before an appoint­ment. This is to help preserve forensic evidence. The comfort of our patients is most important so if this has happened don’t worry, they can still attend an appointment.

An appointment may last for 2 to 5 hours depending on the care and support needed so visitors may want to wear or bring some comfy clothes to change in to.

Following the assessment/examination, patients will be offered the opportunity to take a shower and change their clothes.

If you are bringing a patient to the SARC for an appointment, please try to arrive on time. If you think you are going to be early or late please contact us to let the staff know.

FORENSIC MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS

Medical examinations are conducted by our highly skilled and compassionate sexual offence examiners.

Depending on when the incident happened, patients may be offered the option to have a forensic medical examination that includes checking for any physical injuries and collecting forensic samples. If an examination is something they are considering, it is best to contact us as soon as possible.

We offer to collect forensic samples even if the patient does not want to involve the Police at the time.

This gives patients the option to have forensic evidence if they choose to report the incident at a later date. In this instance, all samples will be stored at our SARC for 2 years.

During the examination, the nurse and crisis worker will regularly check in with the patient to make sure they are ok and want to continue. Patients are in control and can have a break or stop the examination at any point.

After the examination, patients have the option of having a shower at the SARC and we provide a care bag which has items such as shampoo and a toothbrush. We also provide clothing to change into if a patient’s clothing has been taken as evidence.

After an appointment

After an appointment, professionals and patients can contact us at any time to ask questions or to get further help and support. 

If a patient agrees to additional referral support, it is likely that our nurse and support worker will refer the patient to other services that will be able to offer them additional support following an appointment with us. These services might include (but are not limited to) mental health/counselling, sexual health, GP, or the local Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) service.

With their permission, one of our nurses will contact the patient six weeks after their appointment to check in and make sure they have been contacted by the referral services recommended for them.

Get in contact
with us

Make an
appointment

Call us 9 am – 9 pm, Monday – Sunday to make an appointment:

0330 223 0099

Professional
Referrals

All referrals from Police and professionals should be made by telephone:

0330 223 0099

HELPFUL
Resources

Visit our resources page to find our leaflet and information on other helpful services.

Important

We are not an emergency service.
 
If you are in danger or need immediate medical attention, please call 999.
 
For patients in a mental health crisis or who are suicidal, please call 999 immediately if in an emergency.
 
For urgent medical or mental health advice, please call 111.
 
For further information about medical support, please click the button below to visit NHS 111 online: 

For further information about mental health support, please click the button below to visit NHS Mental Health Services: