North Cumbria Integrated Care (NCIC) NHS Trust has welcomed its first Health based Independent Domestic and Sexual Violence Advisor (IDSVA).
It means that patients who are victims of sexual or domestic abuse will have dedicated support with specialist advice when they need it most.
The Trust recently appointed to the role thanks to funding secured through the Ministry of Justice and will be working alongside safeguarding team to provide critical support for victims of Domestic Abuse (DA) and Sexual Violence (SV) across the Trust’s services.
The IDSVA who is called Clare and whose role is supported by Victim Support, said:
“I look forward to working alongside NCIC staff to enhance the provision and support offered to those who are suffering domestic and sexual abuse. Being based within a health setting will provide a safe space for victims of abuse to speak up and I would urge anyone suffering to access support & advice. You will be treated with dignity and respect at all times."
Kelly Marsden Named Nurse for Safeguarding Adults at the Trust added:
“Those experiencing abuse and violence need to know that they are not alone, and this dedicated service from our Health IDSVA, alongside our safeguarding team will ensure that victims get the enhanced support they need at a time that is right for them. We have been leading on a campaign in which NHS staff ask patients, as part of routine enquiries, how safe they feel. It’s giving victims a safe space to speak up and Clare’s new role will undoubtedly strengthen this process.
“Providing the necessary support for victims who access our services, is a key priority for the Trust and I am delighted that we have been supported by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Victim Support to have Clare as a Health Based IDSVA working alongside our health teams. Enabling victims of DA and SV to access the necessary support when accessing our services is vital and we are committed to making every contact count for those experiencing Domestic Abuse or Sexual Violence.”
Sarah Place from Victim Support Cumbria, comments:
“We are really pleased and excited to collaborate with our partners in the NHS, to ensure our offer of support and crisis intervention is more widely available within health settings. This new health IDSVA role will be invaluable and will help us to offer our tailored support and safety planning to more victims in Cumbria. Accessing support via a health setting may be the only opportunity for some of the more isolated and vulnerable victims of domestic and/or sexual abuse, to reach out for support.”
Clare will provide proactive crisis intervention, alongside NCIC colleagues and with specialist support from the safeguarding team as well as working as part of Victim Support’s wider community based IDSVA team.