Niagara Health’s Sexual Assault Domestic Violence treatment program is an important service for the Niagara community, and we are fully committed to providing the best possible care to all patients who enter our doors. We do not turn away patients in need.
Our program is located in dedicated space at the St. Catharines Site. All patients are first seen by an Emergency Department Physician or Nurse Practitioner, and then a Certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner provides specialized treatment that is required. These Nurse Examiners have completed an extensive training program.
Unfortunately, we have had longstanding staffing pressures that have been exacerbated by the pandemic, resulting in times when a Nurse Examiner is not available.
In these situations, a member of the ED team caring for the patient would then discuss options, which include travelling to a hospital in Hamilton or Burlington to see a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. The patient would receive the same level of specialized care and any follow-up care would take place in Niagara. Any decisions are made in consultation with, and with the consent of, the patient. Niagara Health covers the cost of third-party transportation when this is required.
We are very sorry for the difficulties these ongoing staffing pressures are causing.