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    How the IRIS programme can support your practice and patients

    Each practice that becomes part of the IRIS programme receives a named Advocate Educator.

    Our Advocate Educator (AE) provides support to both the practice and the patients that are recognised and referred. 

    Support for your practice: 

    • In-house specialist domestic violence training sessions to become better equipped to respond to concerns and disclosures of DVA from all patients including perpetrators. This includes training for all your clinicians, as well as your reception/administrative team.  
    • Ongoing support and DVA consultancy after training is completed from a named Advocate Educator. 
    • Literature (posters and cards) for your practice explaining that you are a DVA aware practice.  
    • Developed and enhanced safeguarding responses to both children and adults. 
    • A simple referral pathway for your patients to a named Advocate Educator, reducing time required from GPs and practices to respond to disclosures and related issues. 
    •  A certificate for each clinician who attends training, counting towards their CPD points. 
    • Regular attendance from your Advocate Educator at practice meetings to remind staff about the service and provide support with challenging cases.  

    Support for your patients: 

    • Emotional support, a safe place to talk about how DVA has affected them and the impact this can have on their emotional/physical well-being.  The Advocate Educator works in a patient centred way, at the patients pace, outlining options and choices.  
    • Practical support, including advice around finances/benefits, referrals into counselling/group work, housing, legal advice, safety planning, referrals to MARAC/safeguarding, support reporting to Police or attending court.   

    How does IRIS help your patients?

    Service user outcomesPercentage of service users that agreed
    Pleased to be asked by their clinician95%
    Pleased to be referred to the advocate educator98%
    Felt listened to99%
    Found support helpful 95%
    Know where to go for support97%
    Feel safer 86%
    Feel more confident85%
    Feel more able to cope 83%
    Feel good about myself76%
    Feel optimistic about future81%
    Visit GP less70%

    Evidence shows us that ongoing support from an Advocate Educator over time increases referrals from general practice. In addition to this we know that if funding for IRIS programmes ends, we quickly see a decrease in referrals from those practices that were IRIS trained. 

    “Hugely grateful that the doctor referred me. I wouldn’t have done myself. I was in a very bad place. I was really lonely and she didn’t push anything at me, but made it clear there were options.”

    IRIS service user

    For any further information about the above or for details on how you can get IRIS in your surgery/area, please get in touch.




    AVA is an expert, groundbreaking and independent charity working across the UK.

    Their vision is a world without gender based violence and abuse. They aim to  inspire innovation and collaboration and encourage and enable direct service providers to help end gender based violence and abuse particularly against women and girls.AVA’s work is focused around those areas where they can make the best contribution to ending violence and abuse. They do this by making sure that survivors get the help and support they need in the here and now, through providing innovative training that has a proven direct impact on the professional practice of people supporting survivors of violence and abuse

    developing a range of toolkits, e-learning and other material that supports professionals to provide effective and appropriate support to survivors of violence and abuse

    using our influence and networks to ensure survivors voices are heard. We work closely with AVA in many areas including the Pathfinder project


    SafeLives are a national charity dedicated to ending domestic abuse, for good. We combine insight from services, survivors and statistics to support people to become safe, well and rebuild their lives. Since 2005, SafeLives has worked with organisations across the country to transform the response to domestic abuse, with over 60,000 victims at highest risk of murder or serious harm now receiving co-ordinated support annually. SafeLives are members of the Pathfinder consortium.


    Imkaan is a UK-based, Black feminist organisation. We are the only national second-tier women’s organisation dedicated to addressing violence against Black and minoritised women and girls i.e. women and girls which are defined in policy terms as Black and ‘Minority Ethnic’ (BME). The organisation holds nearly two decades of experience of working around issues such as domestic violence, forced marriage and ‘honour-based’ violence.

    They work at local, national and international level, and in partnership with a range of organisations, to improve policy and practice responses to Black and minoritised women and girls. Imkaan works with it’s members to represent the expertise and perspectives of frontline, specialist and dedicated Black and minoritised women’s organisations that work to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls. Imkaan delivers a unique package of support which includes: quality assurance; accredited training and peer education; sustainability support to frontline Black and minoritised organisations; and facilitation of space for community engagement and development. They are a part of the Pathfinder Consortium.

    The University of Bristol CAPC
    The University of Bristol CAPC
    The University of Bristol CAPC

    The Centre for Academic Primary Care (CAPC) is a leading centre for primary care research in the UK, one of nine forming the NIHR School for Primary Care Research.  It is part of Bristol Medical School, an internationally recognised centre of excellence for population health research and teaching.

    A dedicated team of researchers at the Centre work on domestic abuse projects and IRISi is a co-collaborator and partner on some of these projects including ReProvide, HERA and DRiDVA.

    The Health Foundation
    The Health Foundation
    The Health Foundation

    The Health Foundation is an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK. The Health Foundation’s Exploring Social Franchising programme aims to generate a deeper understanding of the potential of social franchising models for scaling effective health and social care interventions within the NHS.

    We are one of four project teams participating in the programme to develop a social franchise to enable the sustainable spread of our intervention, the IRIS Programme. We receive funding and support from the Health Foundation, including technical expertise on social franchising, and attend programme learning events. The Health Foundation has also commissioned a programme-wide evaluation to support understanding of the use of social franchising in the UK health and care system. We and our franchisees will support the evaluation through co-designing data collection requirements, providing access to data as requested, hosting site visits and attending learning events.


    Standing Together Against Domestic Violence is a UK charity bringing communities together to end domestic abuse. They bring local services together to keep people safe

    Most public services weren’t designed with domestic abuse in mind, and they often struggle to keep people safe. Poor communication and gaps between services put survivors at risk.

    STADV aim to end domestic abuse by changing the way that local services respond to it. They do this through an approach that they pioneered, called the Coordinated Community Response. The Coordinated Community Response brings services together to ensure local systems truly keep survivors safe, hold abusers to account, and prevent domestic abuse.

    Their model of a coordinated local partnership to tackle and ultimately prevent domestic violence is now widely accepted as best practice. They are also a part of the Pathfinder consortium.

    Spring Impact
    Spring Impact
    Spring Impact

    Spring Impact is a not-for-profit social enterprise born out of the frustration of seeing social organisations constantly reinventing the wheel and wasting scarce resources. Spring Impact uses a combination of tested commercial and social principles and extensive practical expertise to support organisations to identify, design and implement the right social replication model to scale their social impact.

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