Establishing a domestic abuse care pathway: guidance for practice

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Abstract

Domestic abuse is an increasing public health concern, and the relationship between such abuse and poor health is now recognised. Guidance produced in 2012 by Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse, the Identification and Referral to Improve Safety programme, and the Royal College of General Practitioners encourages general practices to establish a domestic abuse care pathway, so that the correct processes for identifying and responding to domestic abuse are followed. A care pathway is necessary because there is evidence that healthcare professionals’ responses to domestic abuse are not always helpful. This guidance has the potential to improve the way that healthcare professionals in primary care respond to domestic abuse. While supporting the guidance, suggestions are made for nurses to develop the care pathway further.

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