News from Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Health Event to Launch New IDVA Service

Health professionals came together last week to hear about a new service due to be launched at Worcester Royal Hospital in September 2014. This exciting initiative will see an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) from West Mercia Women's Aid working alongside A&E and Maternity staff in seeking to identify, support and signpost both women and men suffering domestic abuse to specialist services. The event attended by a wide range of health professionals from both the acute and community settings heard about the devastating effects of domestic abuse and how staff can work together to make a difference. Tackling domestic abuse is a priority for Health, which is estimated to cost Health alone £1.7 billion per year.

Adele Mcguigan, Regional Safeguarding and IDVA Manager for West Mercia Women's Aid said "We welcome this joint initiative and this will allow our specialists to work alongside health staff who will take responsibility for signposting and supporting victims." She went on to say "We just need staff to get us that critical consent off patients and we will do the rest"  The initiative will see the IDVA working across the hospital, accessible to all. However, in addition to A&E, Maternity will be feature highly with 30% of domestic abuse alarmingly starting in pregnancy.

Donna Daly Specialist Midwife, part of the working group said "I and my staff are really looking forward to working with the IDVA. Since raising awareness of domestic abuse across the workforce we have seen a rise in referrals and I believe it will allow midwifes to protect women at a time when they are most vulnerable both pre and post birth".

Clare Bush, Matron for Emergency Departments across the Worcestershire Hospital NHS Acute Trust who has been overseeing and driving this initiative said "This is an exciting time for the hospital in identifying, supporting and signposting victims of domestic abuse. My staff are looking forward to working with the IDVA and through the ongoing training have a re-newed focus on making a difference to those that need help and support."