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Domestic violence training ‘saves over £3,000 per practice’

A domestic violence training and support programme for primary care is cost-effective for GP practices to implement, conclude UK researchers.

Their research into a UK population of 143,868 women found the Identification and Referral to Improve Safety (IRIS) programme saved £37 per woman registered at a practice compared with practices not receiving the IRIS programme.

The IRIS programme consisted of two training sessions for clinical staff aiming to improve their response to women who experience abuse, led by an advocate educator and either a clinical psychologist or an academic GP.

When only NHS costs for medical attention and mental health were considered, it produced a saving of £1.07 per woman per year, equivalent to £3,155 per practice each year.

Researchers from the London School of Medicine and the University of Bristol concluded: ‘The analysis that we have reported is evidence of cost-effectiveness that can inform the commissioning of the IRIS programme in the context of primary healthcare services.

BMJ Open 2012

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