HIDVA’s are Hospital Independent Domestic Violence Advisors who provide free, confidential, non-judgemental, independent advice, advocacy and education to all patients and staff suffering from domestic abuse. Meg Trinder, our HIDVA for Hereford tells us what a typical day entails…
A Day in the life of a Hospital IDVA
As the Hospital Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (HIDVA) each day is different, brings a new set of challenges and fosters the development of new skills. I am the dedicated HIDVA for Hereford County Hospital and receive referrals via phone or email. A large part of the role of a HIDVA is to support hospital staff referring to the service and ensure that the referral process is as easy and efficient as possible.
When staff call me I take the details for the patient, an overview of the reasons for referral along with obtaining safe contact information for the patient being referred, which alleviates the requirement for staff to write and send long referral forms during their busy work schedule.
Assessment is an essential part of my role as a HIDVA. I will make contact with a patient and when discussing their situation complete a risk assessment in order to identify what level of risk they face and what they need. I will complete safety planning and ensure the patient is informed of all their options including Housing (Refuge, emergency or temporary accommodation, Safe House), Criminal (reporting to the Police, pursuing Police action) and Civil (applying for civil injunctions, accessing legal aid) routes available to them.
My work with them does not finish when they leave hospital. Follow up appointments and sessions will take place dependent upon the patient’s needs and wishes.
Part of my day involves training staff around domestic abuse, increasing their awareness but also their confidence in asking patients about domestic abuse. This might involve visiting different departments for a chat, training, presenting or simply just joining a “huddle” for 10 minutes.
One of the best bits other than supporting patients is developing great working relationships with the staff in the hospital. It is not uncommon for staff to call and just want to run something by me or ask for advice.
My day usually ends tying up any loose ends and planning for the next day as best I can hopefully with the knowledge that I have made a difference.
Find out more about our IDVA services here: