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GP practice teams offered guidance on domestic violence

GP surgeries should create a domestic abuse care pathway to ensure all staff know how to correctly identify and respond to victims.

DH-funded guidance recommends GPs carry out direct referrals to a domestic abuse service to further assess any patients disclosing abusive experiences.

Internal referral routes via a practice nurse with additional abuse training are also desirable.

The guidance also calls upon a practice manager to build “strong partnerships” with local domestic abuse services and co-ordinate domestic abuse training for the practice team.

A domestic abuse care pathway should also be established, the guidance claims.

This should enable the practice team to understand the correct process for identifying abuse, responding to disclosure, risk assessment, referral and information sharing.

“There isn't a victim, child or perpetrator who doesn't have a GP,” said Diana Barran, Chief Executive of charity Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse (CAADA).

“This means GP practices are in a unique and trusted position to help victims through early identification and signposting to specific support services. By supporting practice staff to give a consistent response, this new guidance will help make victims safer.”

Responding to Domestic Abuse: Guidance for General Practices was published by CAADA and the Royal College of GPs.

Question: Does your practice have a co-ordinated approach to domestic abuse victims?