Ipswich Hospital to hire domestic abuse nurse after seeing increase in ‘high risk’ victims
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Hospital is hiring a specialist nurse to support domestically abused families, as trust documents show staff are treating patients who have suffered physical, financial, sexual and psychological harm.
The new recruit will work within the safeguarding team and endeavour to create “a responsive safe environment” at the hospital so victims feels able to speak out, as well as educating colleagues about the issue.
In 2016/2017, Ipswich Hospital staff referred 204 adults to Suffolk’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) because of fears for their safety.
According to public trust papers, 25 cases related to financial abuse concerns, 17 to physical violence, eight to emotional or psychological torment and three to sexual harm. Almost 60 came under the general umbrella of domestic abuse, while 83 were classed as neglect.
Jan Ingle, a spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital, said the appointment was being made because the trust had seen an increase in “high risk cases”.
She added: “Domestic abuse is a significant issue in Suffolk, as it is in all areas, and this role is to provide a confidential surrounding for people to seek help. It is to help people feel more confident outlining what has happened to them and to signpost them to the range of help available.
“It’s also a really important role for education and training of staff so they can be alert and have more awareness of domestic abuse and the support and protection that is available.”
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According to the job specifications, the right candidate will have an “in-depth knowledge and direct experience of working with victims and families living with domestic abuse”, be “confident in safeguarding decision making and risk assessments for both adults and children” and be able to “deliver training and education to all staff groups”.
Within the last financial year, Ipswich Hospital also recorded 14 new cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) among its patients.
At a meeting of the trust’s board members this month, Andrew George, a nonexecutive director, called the FGM numbers “disgustingly high”.
Lisa Nobes, director of nursing, said Ipswich’s figures were “lower than most of the city trusts” but “higher than some of our district general hospital neighbours”.