By Issan Khan
GP’s are now to be offered training to deal with children affected by domestic violence. It comes after a study by the University of Central Lancashire and University of Bristol that found many GP’s and practice nurses are uncertain on how to deal with children affected by domestic violence.
The research had led to the development of a new training programme aimed at helping clinicians effectively get involved with the many complex areas surrounding abuse. This free programme, launched as of 1 October, part of RESPONDS (Researching Education to Strengthen Primary care ON Domestic violence and Safeguarding) project, aims to improve the knowledge ,skills and attitudes of primary care clinicians in managing consultations involving children who witness domestic violence.
The resource pack in the training is to be used by trainers and has been designed in collaboration with experts on domestic abuse. Professor Gene, a GP and the RESPONDS project study lead at the University of Bristol, said: “GPs and nurses who took part in the pilot study were more confident about how to proceed in a consultation, when they suspected exposure of children to domestic violence and abuse, and the appropriate next steps.”
Professor Nicky Stanley, Co-Director of the Connect Centre for International Research on Interpersonal Violence and Harm at UCLan, added her relevant expertise to the study, adding: ““GPs lack confidence in talking directly to children about domestic violence. However, when there is domestic violence in the family, children are likely to be seriously affected. The RESPONDS training package aims to increase GPs’ skills and competence in this important aspect of their work”.
The RESPONDS training pack designed and developed collaboratively using professional expertise in domestic violence, child safeguarding and health. The project was funded by the Department of Health Policy Research Programme.