Greater Manchester A&E plan to help abuse victims

Domestic abuse experts are going to be based in hospital A&E units in Greater Manchester to identify and give support to victims.

After a successful pilot at Fairfield Hospital in Bury, the scheme is being extended to Rochdale, Oldham, Bolton and Tameside hospitals.

Launched by Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd, it aims to reduce domestic violence.

Mr Lloyd claims it is the first of its kind in the UK.

'Lifeline for victims'

A team of five domestic abuse workers will work with hospital A&E staff, who will also have access to a 24-hour phone line to refer patients direct to Victim Support.

"I've met and listened to victims of domestic violence and this is exactly the sort of service they've been crying out for," said Mr Lloyd.

"This initiative is a lifeline for these hidden victims, empowering them to access support services much earlier."

As well as reducing violence in the home and offering support services much earlier than was previously available, Mr Lloyd hopes the scheme will lead to more prosecutions of perpetrators.

"We wouldn't accept that level of violence on the street from a stranger or for people out having a drink with your friends, so we shouldn't accept it in the home on the same basis," he said.

Mr Lloyd hopes the scheme can be rolled out to the rest of Greater Manchester.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) dealt with more than 60,000 domestic abuse incidents in the past 12 months up to September, almost 2,000 more cases than in the previous year.

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