£7m boost: Domestic violence advisors to be placed in Lancashire hospitals
Domestic violence advisors will be placed in hospitals across the county after £7m was secured by Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner.
The funding, awarded by the Ministry of Justice, will benefit a wide range of local organisations and services over three years and will ensure victims have access to specialist support to help them move forward and recover.
The additional funding will be used to strengthen existing services and to bolster Lancashire's programme of placing specialist support in health settings.
Independent Domestic Violence Advisers (IDVAs) will now be based in Southport and Ormskirk, Preston and Morecambe Bay hospitals, meaning that every hospital trust in Lancashire now has at least one specialist support worker on site. These professionals help victims of domestic abuse to access the support they need to rebuild their lives, navigate the criminal justice process and move forward from what they have experienced.
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Funding will also be used to roll out a specialist domestic abuse training, support and referral programme for GP practices across Lancashire helping to identify victims and providing support at the earliest opportunity.
Commissioner Andrew Snowden said: ""Placing support in health setting and ensuring that hospitals and GP practices are aware of the support available has proven hugely successful. Health settings are a place of safety meaning that victims may feel more confident to talk about what has happened to them.
"The money will also see additional support workers joining services across the county.”
Divisional Director of Nursing for Community and Intermediate Care at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, Jane Pemberton, said: "The work being carried out by our Independent Domestic Violence Advocate to support vulnerable men and women experiencing domestic abuse is so important and in some cases life-changing.
"In the last three months alone, they have supported over 130 people with safety planning, offering advice and helping access much needed support.
"This funding will be used to recruit an additional Advocate, helping us expand our service and provide safe, personal and effective care to even more people who are victims and survivors of domestic abuse."
Other organisations set to benefit from this funding include PACE, Empowerment, Lancashire Victim Services, Paladin, The Emily Davison Centre, HARV, Release Counselling, Preston Domestic Violence Services, Flowhesion, Trust House, Humraaz, Positive Action in the Community, The Birchall Trust and Fylde Coast Women's Aid.