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.

If you would like further information or training from our SARC, please get in touch by calling 0330 223 0099 or emailing us at theferns.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. For ISVAs, please call: 07866 142139 (during office hours) or visit website
  • 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 and 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.

Before an appointment

A patient may have been asked by The Ferns SARC, 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 patients 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 a SARC
appointment

Call us Monday to Sunday, 9 am – 9 pm 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.