Specialist service IRIS commissioned for year two funding in Gwent

Specialist domestic violence and abuse training, support and referral programme for General Practices IRIS has been commissioned for year-two funding across Blaenau Gwent, Newport, Caerphilly and Torfaen. In Gwent, IRIS is delivered by Llamau.

The IRIS programme in Gwent trained a total of 523 healthcare professionals and received 498 referrals between 1st of July 2021 and 31st of October 2022.

According to the Head of Service Delivery and Quality Assurance at Llamau, Kirstie Addleton, bringing IRIS to Gwent has made an important difference to the support offered for victims of domestic violence and abuse in the area.

“We have been fortunate in Gwent that the buy-in to IRIS has come directly through local Neighbourhood Care Networks (NCNs). They have also acknowledged the need to work more holistically and proactively with the increased demand and made it a regional priority to address the impact of domestic abuse in their communities. COVID has created a platform of highlighted awareness of the issue, and the NCN areas made a commitment to work in partnership with IRISi and Llamau to address this”.

Healthcare staff feedback included:

  • 100% reported that the training has been excellent
  • 100% would recommend the training to colleagues
  • 99% reported a better understanding of DVA post training
  • 100% reported feeling more confident to deal with patients that disclose DVA
  • 99% reported a better understanding of the link between DVA and child protection
  • 95% reported a better understanding on where to refer all victims of DVA
  • 99% reported a better understanding on where to refer male perpetrators
  • 100% reported a better understanding of health conditions associated with DVA


GP feedback included:

  • “Having the opportunity to undertake this training has given me and my colleagues the opportunity to explore the implications that domestic abuse and violence has on our patients every day. A subject that is not always addressed in the correct manner, but vitally important to understand. Having access to our AE will enhance our response to domestic abuse and we will be able to work together to ensure our patients have the best support at the right time. Highly recommend the training to all” – GP
  • “Why isn’t this training part of the core foundation of medical school, to me, it’s just as important as everything else” – GP


Patient feedback found:

  • 90% report attending GP less since engaging with IRIS.
  • 100% report being happy with the provision.
  • 100% report feeling safer.
  • 77% report feeling better able to cope.
  • 77% report feeling more optimistic about the future.

  • I don’t know if I would have still been here in 6 months’ time if I didn’t have support from you. I felt broken. I am not saying that I am fully recovered now from what I have been through, that will take years to go if it ever does go. But having the support has made me realise I have got a lot to live for. My kids, my family and friends. Thank you” - Patient

  • Being referred to this service has given me back my life. A million thank yous wouldn’t be enough. This should be taught everywhere, that it’s ok to talk about domestic abuse and it’s nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed by anymore” - Patient