24hr Domestic Abuse Helplines:Herefordshire & Shropshire: 0800 783 1359Telford & Wrekin: 0800 840 3747Worcestershire: 0800 980 3331
24hr Domestic Abuse Helplines: Herefordshire & Shropshire: 0800 783 1359
Telford & Wrekin: 0800 840 3747
Worcestershire: 0800 980 3331

We are delighted to share that West Mercia Women’s Aid has become an IRIS Partner organisation.

The IRIS programme is an evidence-based partnership framework through which specialist domestic abuse services train and support local GP practices in the early identification of domestic abuse and provision of improved GPO (Group Purchasing Organisation) support for victims.  Commissioned by Standing Together Against Domestic Abuse (STADA), the programme is now expanding its reach into General Practices across Herefordshire.

Herefordshire is one of three regions selected based on Whole Health mapping conducted by Standing Together on a national scale. The decision to commission the IRIS programme in these areas was made collaboratively with healthcare professionals, local authority domestic abuse leads, and domestic abuse service providers.  Health colleagues in Herefordshire have been in discussion with IRIS for some time to see how ways can be found for the model to be developed here:

“Domestic Abuse is a health issue nationally and the associated impact can be the source of short – and long – term physical and mental health issues, costing the NHS £2.2 billion annually*.  The journey to implementation has been long but securing this funding from STADA and the Home Office is exciting and a great opportunity for Primary Care and West Mercia Women’s Aid to implement IRIS in Herefordshire.
*SafeLives.org.uk Impact Report 2022-2023
Sarah Dempsey, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Nurse (primary Care Lead), NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Lucy Downes, IRISi Network Director said, “We are happy to be a part of this initiative, which brings together expertise and dedication from across healthcare and domestic abuse sectors. Stakeholders in the three areas selected have been seeking to secure funding for the IRIS Programme for a really long time, so we are delighted to be in the position of having been awarded funding to make this happen. Together, we can make a real difference in the lives of those affected by domestic abuse by improving clinical practice so more victims and survivors are identified and offered life changing advocacy and support”.

Find out more about IRIS: