Gateshead launches pilot recovery navigator service in the emergency care department

This new pilot role is to support people with substance misuse issues towards a safer, healthier and more productive lifestyle,.

Linda Howe, recovery navigator for the emergency care department
Linda Howe, recovery navigator for the emergency care department

Meet Linda Howe, the recovery navigator in the emergency care department at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust.

This new pilot role is to support people with substance misuse issues towards a safer, healthier and more productive lifestyle by delivering bespoke interventions both in person and through a wide range of partner agencies. This role aims to reduce the impact on emergency services and local communities.

These patients are often frequent attenders at the emergency department with a range of non-specific medical symptoms. Therefore, this role works closely to develop links between GP Practices, primary care, local authority and voluntary organisations to improve outcomes and life chances.

Linda Howe said “I meet patients when they arrive at the emergency department and I follow them on their ward journey. I then on into the community to ensure they are continuing to engage with the relevant services and to remove any barriers to engagement if necessary.

“Although I have not been in the post long, I am constantly researching and networking with many other relevant organisations in the local community and forging strong partnerships so we can offer as many diverse signposting options as possible.

“My background is in special educational needs (SEN) and mental health, so this role is a complete career change for me but one which I am thoroughly enjoying. I love working in a fast-paced and unpredictable environment and that is certainly the case in the emergency department!

“I am so lucky to be part of such a wonderful caring and helpful team who have taken me under their wing and taught me so much about the department.

“It is important to us in the emergency department that the navigator service is visible and accessible to ensure its long-term success. Please feel free to contact me via email at linda.howe5@nhs.net with any questions or information about the service. If you see me around the hospital, please feel free to stop for a chat!”