IRIS is a GP based domestic violence and abuse (DVA) training, support and referral programme funded by Cwm Taf Morganwwg University Health Board.
Core areas of the programme are training and education, clinical enquiry, care pathways and an enhanced referral pathway to specialist domestic violence services. It is aimed at women who have experienced Domestic Abuse from a current partner, ex-partner or adult family member. IRIS also provides information and signposting for male victims and for perpetrators.
IRIS is a collaboration between primary care and third sector organisations specialising in Domestic Abuse. An advocate educator is linked to general practices and based in a local specialist service, these are Safer Merthyr Tydfil and RCT Domestic Abuse Services. The advocate educator works in partnership with a local clinical lead to co-deliver IRIS training to practices across the Cwm Taf Morgannwg region.
Support for practices:
- 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 clinicians, as well as reception/administrative team.
- Ongoing support and DVA consultancy after training is completed from a named Advocate Educator.
- Literature (posters and cards) for practices explaining that they are a DVA aware practice.
- Developed and enhanced safeguarding responses to both children and adults.
- A simple referral pathway for 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 the Advocate Educator at practice meetings to remind staff about the service and provide support with challenging cases.
Support for patients:
- Emotional support, a safe place to talk about how domestic abuse has affected them and the impact this can have on their emotional and physical well-being. The Advocate Educator works in a patient centred way, at the patient’s 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.
Feedback from survivors is integral to the development and quality of our service. We give our sincere thanks to the women who have shared their experiences in this short film
For further information contact the area Advocate Educator:
Merthyr Tydfil & Cynon – 07791 676036
Rhondda & Taff – 07506 800839
Bridgend – 07908 684037