Women’s Aid welcomes NICE Quality Standards

Monday 29th February 2016

Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:

“We welcome the NICE Quality Standards on domestic abuse for healthcare practitioners and commissioners. A unified approach is vital if we are ever to eradicate domestic abuse, and the quality standard is a step in the right direction.

We welcome the recognition within the standards about asking about domestic abuse in a safe environment. It is vital that no opportunities are missed to help victims of domestic abuse.  We know that women who are being abused welcome being asked about it, as long as it’s done safely, and they then get offered appropriate support.

An appointment with a medical professional is often one of the few times a victim can get away from a perpetrator.  It is therefore essential that healthcare professionals are equipped to recognise the signs of domestic abuse, so that they can help the victim access the support they need. In order for health professionals to have the confidence to ask, though, they need to know there are specialist services available to refer women to, so local health commissioners need to help fund support for victims as well as identifying abuse at an earlier stage. Training and ongoing support in recognising domestic abuse and responding appropriately is needed, alongside a clear way to monitor the implementation of these standards, and we urge practitioners to contact the Women’s Aid National Training Centre for help.”

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