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Nurses trained to identify domestic abuse


NHS staff in Scotland are to be trained to identify domestic abuse victims and try to get them to speak about their suffering.

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More than 5,000 midwives, mental health workers, accident and emergency staff and health visitors will be trained during the next year and a half.

Substance misuse and sexual health professionals will also receive training from a national NHS domestic abuse team. The group has been put in place to help health boards introduce the initiative by developing specialist training packages for staff, highlighting best practice and issuing guidance.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said Scotland will be the “first country in the UK” to tackle domestic abuse through the NHS, in order to identify and help more victims.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “Domestic abuse can have a profound impact on someone’s health including physical injuries, anxiety, depression and sadly we know it is one of the biggest reasons for suicide.

“Often the health service is the first, or indeed only, service that victims will use either for themselves or their children.

“The NHS therefore has a pivotal role in helping to combat domestic abuse. And importantly, NHS staff should feel well equipped and confident about opening the door for people to talk about domestic abuse.

“This early detection and a sympathetic response will help to protect victims and children and offer them the opportunity to access help and support to get their lives back on track.”


Readers' comments (5)

  • Hmmm..I wonder if this might leave us open to revenge attacks. Anyone seen the news today in Northumbria? Just a thought..Don't mean to belittle domestic abuse at all. Difficult one that.

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  • I thought this was already part of our role, wellbeing of patients, protection of vulnerable people and children?

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  • Hoorah! Domestic Violence begins insidiously and is extremely difficult to disentangle from without LOADS of help. Having been there myself, I now want to help everyone who suffers get out. I mean, that's what everyone wants, is for the abused partner to get out, right? Why else ask, "Why does he/she put up with it?" That phrase is merely code for "Why doesn't he/she leave?" It's not like sociopaths ever grow a conscience and start behaving like people are not objects!

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  • surely the question in the comment above should be "why do they do it?" ?. There are a number of reasons why people abuse others and why partners stay in such relationships. Women's Aid exist to offer services to such women and their families regardless of who the abuser might be. What role will the NHS play that they don't already? afterall GP's, community nurses, a+e staff etc see such cases a lot and pass on information leaflets on services available. I have worked for Women's Aid and the NHS and wonder how this training would benefit in improving the outcome of domestic violence.

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  • I am a survivor of domestic abuse. The reason I stayed is simple FEAR. Constant threats to kill me and/ or the chldren if I attempted to leave. I went to social servics and the police for very little help went to womens aid after 11 years and have had a wonderful life since. Thanks WA!

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