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Refuge recently shared a public statement about the potential impacts of the changes to accessing medical records. IRISi completely share the concerns raised however, we are aware that these changes are going ahead and therefore want to ensure there is support in place for both health professionals and survivors when navigating this change. Our work has always been about bridging the gap between health and the specialist Domestic Abuse sector. We recognise the challenges for general practices, the concerns from the sector and that safe support for patients is required to reduce risk.

For over a year, IRISi and Women’s Aid have been attending monthly meetings with the NHSE Safeguarding Reference Group. These meetings have been an opportunity to identify the specific issues the changes to access might have on a range of patients, including those who may be at risk of domestic abuse and in particular coercion and control.  As well as identifying specific problems, the group has been able to implement safeguarding measures intended to ameliorate risks. This includes a national system of reporting of adverse effects which the group can address, including making recommendations for systems changes, if appropriate.

IRISi produced guidance on this issue last October (click here to read it), and held a drop-in session for any concerned Advocate Educators and Clinical Leads who are part of the IRIS network. 

All IRIS programmes provide comprehensive training to all clinicians about Domestic Abuse in general practice and part of this includes, and has always included, training on how to safely and appropriately record DA. This training has been advising to hide all consultations referencing Domestic Abuse from online access for at least the last 6-7 years, as per the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) recording guidance. We are currently updating these materials to ensure there is even clearer guidance around the increased access.

All IRISi advocates and clinical leads delivering IRIS locally receive training from IRISi and, for the last couple of years, we have been paying particular attention to flag the incoming increased access to online records and the importance of hiding/redacting anything in relation to Domestic Abuse from victims, vulnerable adults and children’s records.  

Our approach throughout, alongside Women’s Aid and our NHSE colleagues, has been to support increasing clinician knowledge of the risks of these changes and how to address them. Public facing messaging has been carefully considered so as not to alert potential perpetrators to these changes, whilst increasing the awareness, knowledge and skills of advocates and clinicians who can then raise with individual patients and the health staff providing care. 

If you have any queries, please get in touch with us at info@irisi.org.

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The IRIS Programme provides specialist advocacy and support to patients registered at IRIS-trained practices who have experienced domestic abuse.

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Partners

AVA
AVA
AVA

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

https://avaproject.org.uk

SafeLives
SafeLives
SafeLives

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.

http://www.safelives.org.uk/about-us

IMKAAN
IMKAAN
IMKAAN

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.

https://www.imkaan.org.uk

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.

https://www.health.org.uk

STADV
STADV
STADV

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.

http://www.standingtogether.org.uk

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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