The Rowan wins Health and Social Care Quality Award

The Rowan, the regional Sexual Assault Referral Centre for Northern Ireland based at Antrim Area Hospital, was recently awarded joint first prize for the Health and Social Care Quality Award at the Institute of Healthcare Management awards ceremony. The award is sponsored by the Department of Health Social Services and Public Safety and aims to recognise, reward and promote excellence in the provision of health and social care.

The award targeted teams working within a Health and Social Care organisation which can demonstrate high quality leadership, safety, efficiency, effectiveness and partnership working.

Karen Douglas, Manager of The Rowan for the Northern Trust, said: “We are delighted to have received this recognition. The award highlights the importance of collaborative and innovative work between the Police Service of Northern Ireland and Health & Social Care in responding to the needs of individuals affected by sexual violence.

“The Centre has been accepting referrals since May 2013, providing services and support to over 360 people who have been sexually abused, assaulted or raped. The service is available 24/7, 365 days a year and anyone affected by sexual abuse can self-refer by calling 0800 389 4424 or report to the police.

“The Rowan is a purpose-built centre which is safe and secure and has highly experienced staff who will work to ensure individuals affected by sexual abuse or violence receive the support or guidance required.”

The Centre provides a co-ordinated package of care to promote recovery and wellbeing and, if requested by the service-user, works in collaboration with the Police Service of Northern Ireland to greatly enhance the investigative process. Further information on the service, including details on confidentiality, can be found on The Rowan website at

Inspector Anne Marks said “This award is a great accolade for the staff at the Rowan Centre. Sexual violence and abuse, whether it has occurred recently or in the past, has affected many lives. I would encourage anyone who has experienced sexual violence or abuse to contact the Rowan directly where you will receive a high quality of service or alternatively contact the police who will support you. Remember in an emergency or life threatening situation dial 999.”

The range of services offered at the Rowan includes:

  • Forensic medical examination by a specially trained doctor.
  • Forensic evidence can be stored until the individual makes a decision whether or not they wish to report to the Police in adult cases;
  • Emergency contraception;
  • A course of treatment to help prevent the onset of HIV in those who are at risk (this must be administered within 72 hours of the assault);
  • Screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections;
  • Emotional support;
    Support in making a report to the Police;
  • Referral on to counselling and/or other appropriate support services;
  • Follow-up support; and
  • A 24 hour advice and information line 0800 389 4424.
  • The Rowan is a regional facility managed by the Northern Trust; jointly funded by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Members of staff from The Rowan pictured with Inspector Anne Marks from the Police Service of Northern Ireland

Page last updated:24 January 2014