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Hospital Independent Domestic Abuse Advisor (HIDVA) Service Evaluation

Hospital Independent Domestic Abuse Advisor (HIDVA) Service Evaluation

What did we do?

We worked with Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) on an independent evaluation of their Hospital Independent Domestic Abuse Advisor (HIDVA) service.



Why is it important?

Wigan has a domestic abuse incident rate higher than the national average. Domestic abuse victims or perpetrators are traditionally identified through engagement with public services outside of NHS hospitals.


WWL piloted an integrated HIDVA service, as it was anticipated that victims or perpetrators of domestic abuse are likely to present in hospital, and this may offer a window of opportunity for intervention. In particular, the setting creates a safe space for disclosure and provides a unique opportunity for immediate intervention. 


The service has been identified by NHS England and NHS Improvement as a flagship example of best practice, and requested an independent evaluation of the HIDVA service to inform developing services nationally. 



How did we do it?

We explored the processes, activity and outcomes associated HIDVA service, providing a comprehensive assessment of the implementation and impact of the new service. The specific objectives were:


  • To provide a description of the HIDVA service implemented, including changes made to the service over time.
  • To describe the processes associated with implementation of the HIDVA service, including the facilitators and challenges to its implementation.
  • To examine the cost of providing the HIDVA service.
  • To examine the activity associated with the HIDVA service, with a particular focus on service user demographics.
  • To explore any correlation between the introduction of the HIDVA service and referrals to domestic abuse services outside of NHS hospitals.




  • Hospital-based IDVAs provided an efficient, flexible service during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Locating IDVAs within a team working across a trust, and building good working relationships facilitates an effective disclosure and referral route, which endures through social restrictions.
  • Hospital-based IDVAs supported high-risk victims who may otherwise not have been identified in traditional community-based DVA settings during the pandemic.
  • Hospital-based IDVA services can broaden access by supporting vulnerable, at risk populations whose needs may not be identified at other services.


Overall, we found that hospital-based Independent Domestic Violence and Abuse services can broaden access to domestic violence and abuse services by supporting vulnerable, at risk populations whose needs may not be identified at other services.



Who we worked with



Downloadable resources



More information





Organising Care Deputy Lead


Dr Will Whittaker


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