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GPs should be offered domestic violence training, says NICE

GPs and practice staff should be offered training in how to monitor disclosures of domestic violence and abuse and make appropriate referrals to specialist agencies, says a NICE consultation.

The draft guidance calls for CCGs to commission integrated training and referral pathways for domestic violence and abuse. It also calls for NHS providers to identify any barriers people may face when trying to get help for domestic violence and abuse, and introduce a strategy to overcome these barriers.

The guidance covers identifying and preventing domestic violence and abuse between family members or between people who are - or who have been - intimate partners. It covers adults and young people who are experiencing - or have experienced - domestic violence, and children who are exposed to domestic violence

Professor Gene Feder, professor of primary health care at the University of Bristol and chair of the group which developed the draft guidance said: ‘Domestic violence and abuse poses a major challenge to public health, social care and health care services, yet often goes unrecognised by professionals in those sectors.

‘This draft guidance details how health and social care professionals can identify and respond to violence and abuse between family members or between people who are or have been intimate partners.’

Closing date for comments on the draft guidance is Friday 27 September 2013. Final guidance is expected to be published in February 2014.