Helping victims of domestic abuse

Thanks to your donations we’ve been able to fund a Domestic Abuse Specialist Nurse for Nottingham’s hospitals, to help patients who may be suffering from abuse.

We interviewed Maggie Westbury to find out why her role is so important…

Q. What does your role involve?

A. I’m a domestic abuse specialist nurse and my role involves educating staff and raising awareness of domestic abuse, supporting staff to recognise and respond when patients disclose domestic abuse to them. I also support the patients themselves by talking things through with them and making the appropriate agency referrals and advising them of the help that is available to them.

Q. Why was funding from Nottingham Hospitals Charity so important?

A. I don’t believe this role would have existed without funding from Nottingham Hospitals Charity. It’s an innovative role and there are not many other hospital trusts with this sort of position, so I think it’s fantastic that the charity has enabled us to provide this extra service for patients, which otherwise may not have been possible.

Q. What difference has this made to patients at NUH?

A. It’s had a massive impact. Clinical staff on the wards have a lot of other things to think about so having me here to advise on how to help patients suffering from domestic abuse makes a huge difference. Sometimes patients also want to speak to someone who is not treating them medically, so I can talk to them instead – sometimes they prefer to speak to someone outside of the clinical environment.

Q. How many patients has this helped?

A. Over the last 18 months I’ve seen about 140 patients and also advised staff on roughly double that number of cases. Nottingham Hospitals Charity originally funded the role for two years but that has now been extended for another year as it has proved such a benefit to patients.

If you’d like to make a donation to help fund more important work like this, please visit our donations page.