We are pleased to announce two new partnership projects bringing domestic abuse awareness and support to Sandwell health services.
There are an estimated 10,000 victims of domestic abuse across Sandwell. Many of them will access health services due to the physical and emotional effects of that abuse. However, the underlying cause, domestic abuse, can often go unrecognised and undisclosed. These new initiatives offer us a important chance to ‘ask the question’, support clinical staff to recognise the signs of abuse, and reach the most vulnerable victims with the support and recognition they need.
From this September, we will embed SWA IDVAs (Independent Domestic Violence Advisers) in Sandwell Accident & Emergency Department. They will offer a crisis response service to victims of abuse and violence. This will include on the spot support and advice, safety planning, and referrals into on-going support. The project will also train clinical staff, improve data collection on victims, and share information with MARACs to safeguard high-risk victims.
This exciting new project is delivered in partnership between SWA and Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals Trust.
The Identification and Referral to Improve Safety (IRIS) model is an evidence based training, support and referral programme for GP teams. IRIS enables GPs to respond effectively to domestic violence and abuse.
SWA is partnering with Sandwell & West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group to deliver the IRIS project in a number of local GP surgeries. The IRIS team are delivering specialist domestic violence training and supporting GP practices to be better equipped to respond to concerns and disclosures from patients. Practices will also have streamlined and simple referral pathway for their patients to a named advocate educator. This will reduce time required from GPs and practices to respond to disclosures and related issues.