Appointments and referrals can be made by calling us on 0808 178 4448.
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 Herts 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 options available to make an appointment.
- You can directly make an appointment to attend the centre without involving the police by calling us on 0808 178 4448 and one of our nurses will discuss your options with you.
- If you decide to report the assault to the police they can make an appointment for you and bring you to and from the centre.
- If you are in contact with other professionals such as a GP, sexual health clinicians, social care and 111 services they can also refer you into our service. Professionals cannot contact us without your consent and the SARC will ask to speak with you directly prior to booking an appointment to make sure you understand the process and feel in control of the situation.
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.
Before attending an appointment
You may have been asked by Herts SARC 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/they can still attend an appointment.
An appointment may last for 2 to 5 hours depending on the care and support needed so visitors may want to wear or bring some comfy clothes to change in to. During the appointment you will be offered the opportunity to shower following the examination and can also change clothes then.
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
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 female nurses.
We offer to collect forensic samples even if a patient does not want to involve the police at the time. This gives visitors 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 7 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.
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 call 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
Call our 24/7/365 telephone to make an appointment:
0808 178 4448
All referrals from Police and professionals should be made by telephone:
0808 178 4448
Visit our resources page to find our leaflet and information on other helpful services.