NICE calls for domestic violence training

Band aidThe National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has called for doctors and nurses to receive special training in domestic violence awareness.

The organisation has published new guidance on the topic, noting that:

“Each year at least 1.2 million women and 784,000 men experience domestic violence and abuse in England and Wales, with one in three women and nearly one in five men experiencing it at some point in their lives.”

The Institute adds:

“Domestic violence costs the country around £15 billion a year, of which £9.9 billion is in health and social care costs.”

Special training for healthcare professionals would help them recognise potential domestic abuse amongst patients and refer them to specialist services where appropriate, NICE claimed.

The organisation called on medical schools and universities to include domestic violence awareness in their curricula and to strengthen any existing material. Frontline services such as the police, housing agencies and schools, should work together more closely, NICE said.

Meanwhile, health service managers should encourage victims by creating “an environment for disclosing domestic violence and abuse”. This could include posters and other information in key areas.

The newly published guidance declares: “Health and social care service managers and professionals should ensure front-line staff in all services are trained to recognise the indicators of domestic violence and abuse and can ask relevant questions to help people disclose their past or current experiences of such violence or abuse.”

The guidance continues:

“The inquiry should be made in private on a one-to-one basis in an environment where the person feels safe, and in a kind, sensitive manner.”

Professor Mike Kelly is director of the centre for public health at NICE. He described the new guidance as a “wake-up call”.

“Domestic violence and abuse are far more common than people think. Everyone in society needs to understand both the extent of the problem and the damage it causes.”

Photo by annamatic3000 via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence 

Marilyn Stowe

The senior partner at Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers with clients throughout the country, in Europe, the Far East and the USA.

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7 comments

annonymous - February 26, 2014 at 3:36pm

“Each year at least 1.2 million women and 784,000 men experience domestic violence and abuse in England and Wales, with one in three women and nearly one in five men experiencing it at some point in their lives.”

Yes, plus another 700,000 men who dont report domestic violence incidents to the police, for fear of being laughed out of the local police station.

Also, lets encourage more women to press false charges against men to have him kicked out off his own home, and make a nice little increase in profits for divorce lawyers seeing how the legal aid budget has been cut.

Dosent the legal aid system still pay out for case involving domestic violence?

Paul - February 26, 2014 at 3:56pm

Get the patient in a nice, “safe” environment where he divulges his innermost secrets, that way you’ll get everything out of him before you shop the bugger to the social.

Yes, I can just imagine people, parents particularly, falling for that ruse. People actually are getting more and more wised up to the sneaky ways of these professionals, and rightly so. What NICE ought to pay more attention is the basic public distrust of professionals that now exists, whether police, NHS, social services or, more particularly, those ‘cut and paste’ artists formerly known as magistrates.

Stitchedup - February 26, 2014 at 5:00pm

“Each year at least 1.2 million women and 784,000 men experience domestic violence and abuse in England and Wales, with one in three women and nearly one in five men experiencing it at some point in their lives.”

Once men are educated to recognise domestic violence and encouraged to report it I’m convinced we will quickly pass parity and the number of male victims will exceed female. All the truly independent research points this way.

Paul - February 26, 2014 at 5:37pm

Well, according to Lady Hale’s definitive Supreme Court ruling, nagging now constitutes domestic abuse which makes for approximately 17 million male victims. Arrests of females to follow of course, probably by the time we’ve landed on Mars as police are always a little bit slow on the uptake.

Luke - February 26, 2014 at 6:12pm

The first question I’d ask is simply whether this is actually a good idea ?
Doctors and nurses in hospitals seem to be struggling to cope with the workload as it is (I’m not talking about GP’s who often nowadays seem to be overpaid health administrators) – do they really have time to take on yet another set of skills and training that is not directly related to their job ?

This is not a “wake-up call”, people are not unaware of domestic violence – it seems to be a group of officials within the NICE organisation trying to justify their existence.

Stitchedup - February 26, 2014 at 6:56pm

“This is not a “wake-up call”, people are not unaware of domestic violence – it seems to be a group of officials within the NICE organisation trying to justify their existence.”

We are suffering from DV hysteria in this country and the hypersensitivity to any domestic dispute/disagreement is reflected in the new catch-all definition of domestic abuse/violence.

A slight aside and probably controversial, but can I take it from Hague’s comments today that it’s OK to kill in war but not to rape?? I don’t quite know how to put it without causing offence; both are horrific but to condemn one but not the other seems a little bizarre don’t you think???

It’s OK to shoot and kill your 17/18 year old son but not OK to rape????????????

As a father of 21 year old and 20 year old boys (and I mean boys), I feel that protecting their lives even in war is at least as important as protecting a woman from rape in war.

Paul - February 26, 2014 at 8:43pm

Doctors becoming involved in DV has all the hallmarks of yet another box-ticking exercise, as Luke suggests. And, predictably, it will go badly wrong as all ill-conceived, poorly executed initiatives tend to do. Take doctors and child protection. All it takes these days is for a child to sneeze for a GP to bang in a referral for neglect to the social or little Johnny to sustain a greenstick fracture for an overly-zealous paediatrician to ban his release from hospital while police are called to have a hapless but innocent parent treated as a criminal suspect.

In turning their backs on their Hippocratic Oath, Doctors have reduced themselves to another arm of intrusive state control while commensurately lowering the esteem in which their profession is held to a state more akin to quackery.

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