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  • Run by IRISi, a not-for-profit social enterprise.
  • Used social franchising to scale up and replicate IRIS (Identification and Referral to Improve Safety), a successful general practice-based domestic violence and abuse training, support and referral programme.
  • Implemented in general practices in five new sites in England and Wales.

One in four women and one in six men will experience domestic violence and abuse (DVA) during their lifetime. DVA has long-lasting negative impacts on survivors’ health and wellbeing, and on their families. Health care professionals need to be aware that many of their patients will be affected by DVA.

IRIS is a successful general practice-based DVA training, support and referral programme. It teaches general practice teams how to identify patients experiencing the health impacts of current or past DVA, enquire sensitively, document this in their medical records, and refer them to an IRIS advocate-educator for specialist support.

A randomised controlled trial of IRIS demonstrated its effectiveness and cost-effectiveness and resulting improvements in patients’ quality of life, safety and health.

IRISi is a social enterprise established to improve the health care response to gender-based violence. IRIS is its flagship intervention. IRISi provides support to commission, implement and maintain the IRIS programme, with the aim of improving clinical practice and thus ensuring more victims and survivors can access specialist support.

The Exploring Social Franchising programme enabled IRISi to professionalise and standardise the commissioning and implementation of IRIS, and adopting social franchising has provided a more consistent and comprehensive process for supporting new local IRIS teams.

Five sites have implemented IRIS through this project: Swansea Bay, Greenwich, Middlesbrough, Gwent and Swale. The IRISi team continues to support these sites with their implementation, and is working with other potential future sites.

IRISi is identifying the most effective means of promoting the IRIS programme, and will use this information to scale the IRIS programme further. The team will also test the feasibility of converting existing IRIS sites to the social franchise model.

Contact information

For more information about this project, please contact Medina Johnson, Chief Executive, IRISi.

About this programme

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