Crimes against, and abuse of, older people in Wales (January 2015)
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board had an impressive POVA training package including level one ‘induction’; level two ‘recognition and referral’ and level three ‘designated line manager’ and higher level training. There was a mandatory training policy for all staff, GP training, monthly ‘ Public Protection Days’ incorporating domestic abuse and POVA training by Safeguarding teams. There was strategic and operational level commitment to tackling domestic abuse, and evidence of learning from the user experience. Practitioners were aware of the interdependency and coercion issues in cases of domestic abuse older people, and prioritised a ‘person centred’ approach. The significant increase in referrals from Health (Area Adult Protection Committee, 2012 -2013) highlighted an increased awareness of domestic abuse in older people by frontline staff in detecting the abuse, asking the questions through routine questioning and making accurate referrals. There was a sound understanding of domestic abuse relationship dynamics. Cardiff understood that it was unlikely that an individual would suffer just one form of abuse and emphasised the need to explore the psychological impact of the abuse on the individual’s wellbeing. There was also evidence of effective follow-up action - where cases fell under the threshold the referrer was contacted with advice on safety management.