Independent domestic violence advocates service

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Devon was invited by Devon County Council to gather feedback from service users on their experiences of being supported by an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate (IDVA) to inform the review of current commissioning and the provision of future services. The team conducted interviews with 11 service users. The service users were being supported by IDVAs from several different service providers. The interviews focused on how service users were initially contacted for support by an IDVA, what the IDVA did practically, how any transitions between services were managed, and the exit strategy and how the service user felt after support from the IDVA ended. The overall response from service users about the support provided by IDVAs was varied, however, it was clear from the report that IDVAs provide a valuable service. Service users praised IDVAs for the practical support they received. Every service user interviewed reported that they had had a negative experience when transferring from one IDVA provider to another, and this was the main area of weakness noted in the report. This was primarily related to communication breakdowns between providers when transferring service users. The report did not make any recommendations and did not include a response from the service providers.

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General details

Report title 
Independent domestic violence advocates service
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Devon
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 1 October, 2014
Type of report 
Key themes 
Holistic support
Other information of note about this report 
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Local Council
Primary research method used 
Unstructured Interview
User stories
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Mental health services 
Victim support

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Not known

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.