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Researchers appeal for help from survivors of domestic violence

Patients who have visited the Emergency Department at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre because of domestic violence are being asked to take part in new research at The University of Nottingham.

The QMC is one of the few hospitals in the UK to have a dedicated domestic violence specialist nurse working full-time in the Emergency Department (ED).

Now the Nottingham University Hospitals’ Charity is funding a project to assess patients’ experiences of the emergency department at QMC to see if there could be further improvements.

People who have experienced domestic abuse and received treatment in the Emergency Department at QMC and who would like to take part in the confidential and anonymous interviews for this research are asked to contact the research hotline on 07891 784 163 or email Dr McGarry on Julie.McGarry@nottingham.ac.uk.

There is on average one domestic violence-related murder per year in Nottingham and the British Crime Survey indicates that at least 10 per cent of women and two per cent of men are at risk from domestic violence every day. Around 7,000 children in the city are also living with the problem.¹

Lead researcher Dr Julie McGarry from the University’s School of Health Sciences said:

”Nottingham does not have a bigger problem with domestic violence than other similar cities but this sort of violence is often but not always a hidden problem. It is vital that we continue to improve support for survivors who attend the Emergency Department.”

“Previous research has already found that the specialist nurse is having a very positive impact among other Emergency Department staff at the QMC who have found her expertise invaluable when patients report domestic violence, or if they suspect it. Now we want to assess the impact of services more generally among the patients themselves so we would be very keen to interview survivors of abuse.”

Barbara Cathcart from the Nottingham Hospitals’ Charity added:

“Nottingham Hospitals Charity sponsors peer reviewed projects for every area of the hospitals it supports. We are pleased to support this domestic violence research because of its impact across every part of society.

“To extend this important service and to continue to support the work for which Nottingham is known nationally, the Charity also funds a nurse specialist whose remit is to educate nurses throughout the hospital trust about identifying signs of potential abuse, with the aim to support those patients at risk. It is envisaged that this latest research in the emergency department will enhance the level of support provided in this area throughout the Trust”.

¹Nottingham City Council Joint Strategic Needs Assessment data.

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