Posts tagged ‘hospital IDVA’

May 14, 2014

Would I know one if I fell over one?

I am talking about an ‘abridged Cochrane systematic review with meta-analysis’. And honestly I don’t think I would. Thankfully, the research paper in the BMJ from a range of experts (O’Doherty, Taft, Hegarty, Ramsay, Davidson and Feder) is clear and well explained.

The paper analyses several studies which assess the impact of screening women for intimate partner violence in healthcare settings. It even includes a brief video (blogging skills don’t permit me to embed it here…) setting out the main findings. The researchers found that while screening results in higher identification of domestic abuse, it was still well below the prevalence estimates in the population. Further it did not clearly lead to higher referrals to specialist domestic abuse services. Screening did not appear to cause harm.

In short, my view would be in a far less scientific way, that asking the question routinely to every woman in a health care setting without having a clear and effective referral pathway does not make a material difference to the support she receives and is not a good use of resource. In a more measured way, the researchers concluded: ‘As the primary studies did not detect improved outcomes for women screened for intimate partner violence, there is insufficient evidence for screening in healthcare settings.’

But, if you have a dedicated DV practitioner either on site or clearly identified and linked to the practice/hospital, then that makes all the difference…

July 12, 2012

Celebrating Success with WRSAC

I am just trundling back on the train from a great day in Cornwall – not a great day in terms of weather of course – but a great day in terms of celebrating with the WRSAC staff, volunteers, trustees, partners and friends, their triumph at the Glaxo Smith Kline Impact Awards – which if you haven’t read the news…THEY WON…beating over 400 other entrants.

You can watch a short video about their work at

Travelling to and fro from Cornwall involves a long train journey, so is giving me plenty of time to think about what makes a great domestic and sexual violence service.  I think it comes down to three things: the quality of the people, the quality of the partnership and the clarity about the goals  they are working towards.  WRSAC felt like a stick of rock to me – it didn’t matter where you cut it, there was a consistency in the quiet, approachable, professionalism of the team which was striking.  A number of the partners spoke at the meeting from the police, local authority, health and probation (I have probably forgotten someone).  There were one or two we would like to clone…but leaving that aside, the key thing that came through was a common purpose – and that obviously reflects years of hard work to build.  Finally, there is no doubting the charity’s commitment to the women and children they support.  Whether in the hospital where there are two IDVAs, or among the rest of the wider team, volunteers and trustees – everyone was focused on ensuring that women and children in Cornwall are given a chance to get to a position of safety and self respect.  I am not surprised that they won.

In a climate where there is so much focus on value for money, I hope commissioners recognise the added value that the combination of these factors brings both in human and financial terms.  I think that in those places where these three things exist, the whole is far greater than the sum of the parts and one tampers with it at one’s peril.

June 1, 2012

Belated Congratulations to WRSAC for GlaxoSmithKline IMPACT award

I am probably the last to have heard, but just in case I felt it was worth celebrating the success of WRSAC (Women’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre in Cornwall) in beating over 350 other contestants to win the GlaxoSmithKline IMPACT award for their pioneering work supporting women experiencing domestic and sexual abuse in hospitals.  Readers of this blog will know that we are really focusing on building support for victims of domestic abuse in a hospital setting so it is fantastic to see the recognition of WRSAC’s work in such a prestigious way. WRSAC has a hospital based IDVA service and has helped to introduce routine enquiry so that many more victims of domestic abuse are identified.  We are really proud to say that WRSAC is a Leading Lights accredited service.

Let’s hope that this prize brings more focus by health commissioners on the value of such services so that one day we will see them all across the country.  Congratulations to the pioneers in Cornwall!