In April 2009 a two year pilot project funded by NHS Manchester ‘Improving Health in Manchester’ scheme, was set up at St Mary’s maternity hospital. The project secured the services of a trained full time Independent Domestic Abuse Advisor (IDVA), located in the antenatal department of the hospital. The rationale behind the pilot was that 30 per cent of domestic abuse begins in pregnancy and existing abuse escalates in pregnancy. The referrals from health professionals to the main IDVA service, based in the City Council, were low compared to other services.
Following routine enquiry by midwives and a disclosure of domestic abuse, a referral was made to the IDVA who provided information on options to improve safety and advocacy.
The project significantly increased the number of referrals from ante-natal health care workers to the IDVA service. Many women were seen on the same day as disclosure and a high proportion said they felt safer following intervention by the IDVA. The evaluation report provides evidence for the continuation of the service and recommends that midwives are trained to carry out the CAADA-DASH Risk Assessment, as part of their role in safeguarding women and their unborn children.
The final evaluation report was launched at the Domestic Abuse and Health Conference on the 29 November 2010.
Click here to see the sumary of the 2010 evaluation report. If you wish to download the whole final report, click here. Also available is the business case for continuing the PATHway: An Independent Domestic Violence Advisory Service at St Mary’s Maternity Hospital, Manchester; click here to download this document.
If you would like any further information please contact The Public Health Department at NHS Manchester on 0161 765 4452.