Quality statement 3: Referral to specialist support services for people experiencing domestic violence or abuse

Quality statement

People experiencing domestic violence or abuse are offered referral to specialist support services.

Rationale

It is important that people who disclose that they are experiencing domestic violence or abuse can access appropriate support. This should include support for any children in their family who are affected. Specialist support services can help to address the emotional, psychological, physical and sexual harms arising from domestic violence and abuse. They can offer advice, help to develop plans for the future and increase the safety of those affected.

Quality measures

Structure

a) Evidence of local referral pathways to ensure that people experiencing domestic violence or abuse are referred to specialist support services.

Data source: Local data collection.

b) Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that specialist support services are available for people experiencing domestic violence or abuse.

Data source: Local data collection.

Process

Proportion of people who disclose that they are experiencing domestic violence or abuse who are referred to specialist support services.

Numerator – the number in the denominator who are referred to specialist services.

Denominator – the number of people who disclose that they are experiencing domestic violence or abuse.

Data source: Local data collection.

Outcome

Satisfaction with specialist support services.

Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for service providers, health and social care practitioners, and commissioners

Service providers (primary, community, including third sector, secondary and tertiary care providers of health and social care services, including prison health services and criminal justice agencies) work with commissioners to design local referral pathways for domestic violence and abuse and ensure that health and social care practitioners offer referrals to these specialist support services to people who need them.

Health and social care practitioners are aware of local referral pathways for domestic violence and abuse and offer referrals to specialist support services to people who need them.

Commissioners (NHS England local area teams, clinical commissioning groups and local authorities) ensure that referral pathways and a full range of specialist support services are in place for people experiencing domestic violence and abuse. These include specialist community based advocacy services.

What the quality statement means for service users

People who experience domestic violence or abuse are offered referral to specialist support services, such as refuges. This will mean that they can get the help and support that they need.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

People experiencing domestic violence or abuse

This refers to those aged 16 and over who are experiencing or have experienced domestic violence or abuse, and to children (under 16s) who are affected by domestic violence or abuse.

[Domestic violence and abuse (NICE guideline PH50)]

Specialist support services

Specialist support services for domestic violence and abuse aim to improve the safety and well‑being of those affected. Services include advocacy, advice, floating support, outreach support, refuges and provision of tailored interventions for victims and their children. They also include housing workers, independent domestic violence advisers and multi‑agency risk assessment conferences for those at high risk. Services should be tailored to the level of risk and specific needs of people experiencing domestic violence or abuse.

[Domestic violence and abuse (NICE guideline PH50)]

Equality and diversity considerations

Services should be tailored to address the specific needs of people experiencing domestic violence or abuse. Services should include those to help prevent forced marriages, to help men, and lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people affected by domestic violence or abuse, and to help people subjected to 'honour' violence or stalking.

Services should provide support in different languages and be accessible to people with additional needs such as physical, sensory or learning disabilities. When interpreters are needed for discussions, these should be professional interpreters who are impartial and have a duty to maintain confidentiality. Family members or friends should not act as interpreters for enquiries or discussions.