Call 0330 223 0099 (24/7/365)

Appointments

Appointments and referrals can be made by calling us on 0330 223 0099.

Our phones are open 24/7, every day of the year. We aim to see visitors within 24 hours of them contacting us for an appointment.

Read below to learn more about making an appointment for yourself or someone else and what happens during a visit to Bridgehouse SARC. If you are a professional looking to make a referral, please visit our Professionals page.

Making an appointment for yourself

You will need to have an appointment before visiting the centre. There are a couple of options available to make an appointment.

Self-referral: This option allows you to receive important healthcare and have evidence collected, without reporting to the Police.

You can directly make an appointment to attend the centre without involving the police.

If you wish to self-refer into the SARC please call us on 0330 223 0099 and one of our nurses will discuss your options with you.

Police Referral: You can report the assault to the Police, and they will gather information about your case, arrange a SARC appointment for you and bring you to and from the centre.

If you need the police involved, please call 101.

Professional Referral: You can also be referred to our SARC by another service (such as your GP, sexual health clinicians, social care and 111 services).

Professionals cannot contact us without your consent and the SARC will ask to speak with you directly before booking an appointment to make sure you understand the process and feel in control of the situation.

If you are from the police, or social services, or are a professional looking to make a referral, please visit our Professionals page.

An appointment for someone else

If you are concerned about someone you know like a friend, family member or colleague, we can help.

Please share our service information with them and let them know that they can speak anonymously with one of our nurses by phone before making a decision about how to proceed.

We are unable to make an appointment for someone without their knowledge and consent. 

Before attending an appointment

You may have been asked by Bridgehouse, or another professional, to not wash your 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, you can still attend an appointment.

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

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

Please try to arrive on time for your appointment. If you think you are going to be early or late, please contact us to let the staff know.

During an appointment

When you arrive at the centre you will meet our crisis worker and one of our nurses. Your crisis worker will stay with you throughout your time at the centre to help and guide you. Both the crisis worker and nurse will support you and answer any questions you may have and will explain what happens during your appointment.
 
As part of the appointment, we will talk to you about your healthcare needs and when necessary risk assess for pregnancy and blood borne viruses. We can provide free medication such as emergency contraception if needed.
 
Our team can also provide immediate sexual health advice and provide information around screening for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We do not complete STI screening at the SARC but we can support and refer you to as service for this.

Forensic medical examinations

Depending on when the incident happened, you 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 you are considering, it is best to contact us as soon as possible.

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

We offer to collect forensic samples even if you do not want to involve the Police at the time. This gives you the option to have forensic evidence if you 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 you to make sure you are ok and want to continue. You are in control and can have a break or stop the examination at any point.

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

Aftercare

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

You can contact us at any time following your appointment if you have any questions or need help and support.

With your permission, one of our nurses will contact you six weeks after your appointment to check in on you and make sure that you have been contacted by the referral services recommended for you.

Get in contact
with us

Make an
appointment

Call our 24/7/365 telephone 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 resources.