What is the IRIS programme? 

The IRIS programme is a collaboration between healthcare providers and third sector organisations specialising in domestic abuse and violence. The programme involves ongoing training, education and consultancy for health care providers, such as GP practices, as well as a robust referral pathway into specialist domestic abuse and violence services. 

The programme will help General Practitioners and other health professionals to not only identify signs of domestic abuse but also equip them with the knowledge they need to make referrals for further support.

Why is the IRIS programme so important? 

At Llamau, we know that a victim of domestic abuse can present up to five times to a health care provider before being referred for the specialist help and support they need. This is frankly startling and extremely concerning, knowing so many opportunities to intervene and offer help are being missed.  

It's not uncommon for victims of domestic abuse to present with other symptoms, conditions or concerns, which can be the result of an abusive relationship.

A short study conducted by Llamau in early 2020, showed that 62% of women surveyed first presented to their GP with anxiety, depression or a combination of both. Even more worrying is that 89% of the women surveyed disclosed the fact that they were experiencing domestic abuse to their GP, yet 100% of the women were not supported within their appointment to make contact with domestic abuse services.

To date there have been:

  • 797 referrals (27 referrals for NHS general practice staff)
  • over 776 health care staff have been IRIS trained
  • 45 general practices are IRIS trained (out of 57)
  • 11,623 support sessions have been provided
  • 783 women have been supported to remain safely in their home
  • 87 women have been supported to access safe accommodation
  • 92% of IRIS service users reported attending the GP practice less frequently following support

(as of July 2023)

Are you a health provider in Gwent? Register your interest...

The IRIS programme is now being run across health providers in Gwent, creating an environment where domestic abuse in any form can be identified and addressed immediately. If you'd like to find out more information about the programme or how to register your practice for training, please contact Project Manager, Sam Thomas.

E: [email protected] 
M: 07384817584