Guide urges health staff to act on fears

Midwives, health visitors and GPs have been encouraged to take a more active role in tackling domestic violence, under new government guidelines.

The Department of Health handbook suggests front-line staff should be aware of signs that could indicate domestic abuse and give all pregnant women information about support services.

Local health policy-makers and managers are also advised to participate in local multi-agency forums and work with organisations tackling domestic violence.

The DH’s domestic violence co-ordinator, Christine Mann, said: “The whole thing is about the health service making a contribution to a multi-agency response. This is a case of identifying and referring, to facilitate women having the information they need to take their own initiative.”

Responding to Domestic Abuse: A Handbook for Health Professionals from

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