The Minister for Justice, Equality, Health and Care Samantha Sacramento MP has set up a Domestic Abuse Working Group for the GHA.

The GHA is a key stakeholder of the National Domestic Abuse Strategy and given that it is the largest organisation, a working group committee that is representative of the disciplines in the GHA has been established to support the GHA’s Medical Director. The committee will be chaired by Dr Elaine Flores whose role will also be to represent the GHA at the multi-agency operational forum. Dr Flores recently undertook training on domestic abuse delivered by UK Charity Safelives and is now trained to be part of the Government’s training team for frontline first responders staff.

This working group will be responsible for the development and reviewing of internal policies, the setting up of focused training and formalising multi-agency referral pathways. The group, which is comprised of senior managers, will ensure that the GHA provides an internal structure for the training of all staff and to inform individuals of their roles and responsibilities in relation to helping victims of, or suspected victims of, domestic abuse.

Medical Director, Dr Krishna Rawal, said: “I invited senior management staff to form part of this working committee and I am very pleased with the level of engagement that I received. It was important that the GHA has a very clear operational structure because of the role that we play and there is now a process within the GHA to ensure victims or suspected victims of domestic abuse are identified, assessed and offered appropriate support, including referral pathways. The organisation will play its part, in accordance with Gibraltar’s wider National strategy, in the appropriate management, assistance and support for victims of domestic abuse”.

Minister for Justice, Equality, Health and Care, the Hon Samantha Sacramento MP, said: “I have been working closely with the GHA on this strategy over the years prior to having the Ministerial responsibility for it. It makes me very happy to have established this working group with a view to making the organisation more effective in its response. Health professionals are often the first point of contact for victims of domestic abuse and the GHA’s remit is so broad, and its involvement so crucial, that I felt a working group committee to represent the entire organisation was required in order to properly support the Medical Director both in the development and in the implementation of robust policies. It will be important for all staff members have a clear and comprehensive framework for identifying and managing situations where there are allegations of domestic violence and abuse, and I am confident that this team will develop the strategies to the next level”.