Health visitors to be trained to spot domestic abuse
Around 300 health visitors will be trained to become local experts on domestic abuse, under plans announced by the Institute of Health Visiting.
These experts will then “disseminate” their knowledge to other colleagues, the institute said in its first annual report, which was published last week.
Institute director Cheryll Adams told Nursing Times she aimed to create one or two domestic abuse experts in every trust and every university, who would receive a two-day training course and a training pack. The training programme is being funded by the Department of Health.
Dr Adams said: “Domestic abuse is one of the ‘toxic three’, which comes out time and time again in serious case reviews where children have been killed. Health visitors are in a pivotal place as they provide universal services to pick up domestic violence, to support the victims and to help them to protect their children.”
The institute also intends to launch fellowship scheme, which will recognise senior health visitors as experts and create specialist opportunities to develop their skill base locally and nationally.
Dr Adams said: “We expect the fellows to become local leaders who are called on locally and nationally to represent their profession. This certainly isn’t about just giving someone a title.”
As well as its ambitions for next year, the annual report outlined progress since the institute was launched in November 2012. It noted that this year it had trained nearly 300 health visitors from 108 healthcare organisations to act as local experts on perinatal mental health.
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