Gallery: Innovations In Your Specialty Award winners: Amanda Burston and Safer Steps Team

Innovations In Your Specialty Award winners Safer Steps Team - Nursing Standard Nurse Awards 2015

Safer Steps Team
University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust

Amanda Burston and her 16-strong team set up a domestic violence service to raise awareness and encourage patients to seek help. The project has so far helped more than 400 victims of abuse.

Emergency departments are often the first port of call for victims of domestic abuse, and statistics suggest they account for one in six visits. Amanda says: ‘We were aware from audit that there was an increasing number of revolving-door patients who were not being identified as victims of domestic abuse, but were being treated, managed and discharged back to an abusive home life with no signposting to support.’

The partnership with domestic violence charity Arch includes extensive training for all staff at Royal Stoke University Hospital. Staff are now better able to recognise domestic violence signs, and a direct referral service to Arch means counsellors can offer victims support quickly. One surprising consequence has been a significant number of staff disclosures. They, too, are now moving towards a safer life.