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Family violence intervention in urgent care

In March 2016, Kenepuru Accident and Medical Clinic hosted a pilot workshop in Family Violence Intervention (FVI) for urgent care practitioners.  Participants included staff from Kenepuru Accident and Medical Clinic (Porirua), Team Medical (Kapiti), Wellington Accident and Medical Clinic, and Lower Hutt After-hours Clinic.  They were joined by general practitioners and two doctors from North Shore, Auckland, to share ideas and discuss how FVI could be customised for the urgent care setting.  Facilitator and keynote speaker Detective Inspector Rob Veale was supported by the Capital and Coast DHB chief social worker, who provided a session on child protection.  Mr Veale is currently the Capital and Coast FVI coordinator, a role established in all DHBs as part of the Ministry of Health family violence strategy.  Feedback from doctors at the workshop included:

 “I LOVED the day and I thought the combination of an experienced police officer and a social worker was a very good one.”

“I really enjoyed Rob’s presentations and totally achieved my aim of being confident with exactly how to ask questions about IPV [Intimate Partner Violence] properly.  And I have 3 screening questions all ready to go now in my mind (actually on the notes on my ‘phone, so I don’t forget the wording)..”

“I guess because it is an unpleasant subject and some health professionals may be in denial about the severity and longterm health effects of IPV, it is going to be a polarising subject for some.  But in 10 years time, we will hopefully look back and wonder why on earth the health effects of IPV did not seem so obvious before.”

“I had a new disclosure of sexual abuse from a child a week later and felt better prepared to deal with this”

“Great that our College is doing this, because it is part of training in general practice and emergency medicine.  Some doctors might say, ‘it’s not our job’.  I’d say, check your job description, because according to the Ministry of Health, it is”

“I see a lot of minor health concerns, but this [IPV] is a potentially lethal problem, like alcoholism or unstable angina.  So if I can pick that up and help some-one, it might be the biggest difference I can make to a patients life.”

 A recent news item featuring Mr Veale and a general practitioner discussing FVI is available here:  Clinics interested in hosting a workshop in 2017 are encouraged to discuss this with the FVI coordinator in their local DHB, and to contact the College for further support.

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