The IRISi Project

Calan DVS are delighted to have been commissioned by Swansea Bay University Health Board and funded by the South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner to deliver the IRISi project in Neath and the Upper Neath Valleys.

What is IRISi?

The health service plays an integral role in addressing the issue of and transforming responses to domestic violence and abuse (DVA). The IRISi (Identification and Referral to Improve Safety) programme is a training, referral and advocacy model to support clinicians to better support their patients affected by DVA and to increase the awareness of domestic violence and abuse within general practice.

IRISi provides specialist DVA training to clinical professionals, alongside administration staff, within local general practices.

IRISi is a collaboration between primary care and third sector organisations specialising in DVA.

The programme includes:

  • training and education
  • clinical enquiry
  • care pathways
  • opportunities to refer to specialist domestic violence services

It is aimed at women who are experiencing DVA from a current partner, ex-partner or adult family member and provides information and signposting for male victims and for perpetrators.

Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA) costs the UK NHS close to £1.9 billion pounds a year (Walby, 2009), and the NHS spends more time than almost any other agency dealing with the effects of DVA on women and children (Department of Health, 2010).

We know that victims/ survivors of abuse trust Health Professionals and will often attempt to disclose during a consultation, half of women that access DVA specialist support services have visited a GP practice an average of 4.6 times in the 12 months before they accessed specialist DVA services (SafeLives 2016).

How it works

Our Advocate Educator with the support of the Clinical Lead, will deliver training and support for each practice in the Neath and Upper Neath Valley areas to GPs and frontline staff including administrators.

The training focuses on providing information on how to identify domestic abuse through clinical enquiry and how to respond in terms of assessing immediate risk, referral, recording and confidentiality.

Once each practice has received training, the practice becomes a domestic abuse aware practice. This is recognised and promoted to patients by the displaying of posters and information cards identifying them as domestic abuse aware.
Practices also receive referral forms and information on care pathways for female survivors, male survivors and perpetrators.

The role of the Advocate Educator is also to provide advocacy and emotional support to patients whilst identifying risk, implementing safety plans and signposting to other services if necessary and acts as a named contact for patient referrals.

For further information on the IRIS Project please contact