As we mark the international 16 days of actions against domestic violence (25 November to 10 December), Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust is running its second training pilot to help managers support staff who are being abused.
The second pilot session will be held on Friday (27 November) and will be aimed at managers from a range of teams across the Trust. It follows on from a successful pilot in October specifically for managers in the Maternity department, after a healthcare assistant and midwife at the Trust died in domestic incidents over the last two years.
Daniela Capasso, Named Midwife for Safeguarding at the Trust, said: “Domestic violence is a very difficult subject to tackle, especially in the workplace where people may be reluctant to disclose abuse for fear of being judged or even losing their job.
“What our training does is equip managers with the skills to have difficult conversations with their staff. We want to empower them to open the communication channels so people feel comfortable opening up. They’re not offering counselling, or resolving the issues, there are services we make referrals to for that, they are making people feel that they can talk to them.”
The training includes tips on active listening, and even role play. Feedback from the first session has been used to improve the second pilot. Once finalised, it is planned that the training would be rolled out to managers Trust-wide.
Daniela added: “The role play exercise encourages people to look at things they don’t always think about when managing people and how they can create an environment of trust without being intrusive.
“People may not be ready to open up straight away, or the next day, or even the next day. The key is being there on the day they are ready. Domestic violence can happen anywhere and with over 6,000 staff, we known some are experiencing it. That’s why developing this training is so important in how we support and look after our colleagues.”
The Trust has also developed e-learning on domestic violence awareness for all staff.