Taskforce to ensure NHS staff are trained to help abused women

A new taskforce has been set up to ensure NHS front-line staff have the correct training and access to information to help women affected by violence.

Following the ‘violence against women and girls’ consultation, which began in March, the government found abused women are more likely to talk freely to healthcare professionals about their situation.The new taskforce will aim to improve staff handling of these situations.

The taskforce will aim to ensure health professionals can give victims information about local support services, and are trained to identify women at risk earlier, and how they can offer these women support to reduce repeated abuse.

Health secretary Alan Johnson said: “This taskforce will bring together health professionals and women’s organisations to help tackle violence against women and girls by responding to its early signs and supporting its victims.

“Many women who have suffered violence and abuse turn to GPs and A&E for support and treatment – the taskforce will help us to ensure that all NHS staff are trained to care for women and girls and help prevent further abuse.”

The taskforce will include health professionals, NHS managers and representatives from the public, social services and voluntary sector. The work will be led by George Alberti, former national clinical director for Emergency Access and Service Design.

No extra funding will be made available for the improvements. Instead the taskforce will aim “to make the most effective use of existing NHS resources.”

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