Local NHS leader encourages Leeds men to become White Ribbon Ambassadors

NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group receives funding to further extend a successful pilot to identify women who are experiencing domestic violence and abuse

Local NHS leaders are supporting the 16 Days of Action, an international campaign which runs from 25 November to 10 December. The campaign aims to raise awareness about the issue of domestic abuse and encourages more people to do something to tackle it.

The latest statistics on the White Ribbon UK website show that two women a week are killed by a current or former partner and 10,000 women are sexually abused ever week[i].

Tim Ryley, who is a Director of Strategy, Performance and Planning at NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), is urging local men to become White Ribbon Ambassadors to help end male violence against women.

Tim said: “I became a White Ribbon Ambassador because I want to make a difference and we all have a role to play in ending male violence against women, once and for all. I’m encouraging Leeds men to become ambassadors as well as my friends and work colleagues, so that they can take the message out there, whether it’s at workplaces, schools, universities or colleges, all of us can play a part in making a difference. The more men that we have signed up as ambassadors, the stronger our message will be.

“We all can do our part in ending violence against women and you do that by becoming an ambassador if you’re a man or a champion if you’re a woman. Anyone can take the pledge to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.”

Nighat Sultan, a GP at Moorfield House Surgery in Leeds, said: “The CCG is committed to ending violence against women and it has received funding from NHS England to continue with a pilot that was originally started at the GP practice I work at – Moorfield House Surgery.

“The pilot encourages GPs to ask women patients who attend alone if they’re experiencing domestic violence and abuse. They are then offered a referral to an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate (IDVA), and a referral to the MARAC (Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference) is made if the individual is at risk of serious current or future harm. MARAC meets daily in Leeds where workers from a number of agencies discuss the safety, health and wellbeing of the individual and their family. Although the pilot was only for three months, we’ve continued with it for the past two years, as we found that 18% of our female patients were experiencing domestic abuse or had experienced this in the past.

“Due to the success of the pilot, it will now be further rolled out across small number of GP practices who have been identified as having the highest numbers of domestic violence homicides or instances of high/medium risk domestic violence and abuse. CCG has further invested which funds a nurse to attend the MARAC. I want to thank Safer Leeds Domestic Violence Team who have been integral to this pilot and making it a success.”

Full details of how you can support the campaign are on the White Ribbon UK website (www.whiteribbon.org.uk). The CCG will actively encourage people to become ambassadors, champions or to make a pledge on Thursday 29 November at their Wira House headquarters, where they will also be encouraging other businesses to take part too.

ENDS

Notes

For media enquiries please contact the communications team at NHS Leeds CCG. You can contact the team on 0113 84 35528 or 0113 84 35470. Alternatively please email us: leedsccg.comms@nhs.net

[i] White Ribbon UK website https://www.whiteribbon.org.uk/what-we-do/