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IRISi wins Health Foundation award to develop social franchising model

5 December 2017

IRISi has been selected by the Health Foundation, an independent charity, to be part of an innovative programme to improve health care using novel scaling approaches to widen use of successful health and social care interventions.

The Exploring Social Franchising and Licensing programme supports four organisations to replicate interventions that they have already tested and proven to work. The organisations will employ replication techniques, social franchising and licensing, that have not yet been used widely in the UK. 

The initiative from IRISi, a social enterprise established to promote and improve the health care response to domestic violence and abuse (DVA), will support the replication of the IRIS programme through social licensing. IRIS (Identification and Referral to Improve Safety) is a general practice-based domestic violence and abuse (DVA) training support and referral programme that has been evaluated in a randomised controlled trial. Core areas of the programme are training and education, clinical enquiry, care pathways and an enhanced referral pathway to specialist domestic violence services. It is aimed at women who are experiencing DVA from a current partner, ex-partner or adult family member. IRIS also provides information and signposting for male victims and for perpetrators.

Medina Johnson, Chief Executive of IRISi and project lead said, “We are delighted to have been successful in our application to this programme and to be working again with The Health Foundation who supported our original research trial a decade ago and were instrumental in us being able to develop our commissioning model and training programme. This programme gives us the opportunity and resource to build our work and support more areas to commission IRIS. We know that only one tenth of the general practices in England and Wales are IRIS DVA Aware Practices and so many more clinicians could be trained to better support their patients with experience of DVA. In turn this means that many more patients and their families receive the support they need which we know will have a positive impact on their health and wellbeing.”

The new programme will run for one year and each project will receive up to £145,000 to develop approaches that will enable the project to spread their successful health and care intervention to other sites across the UK in future.

Sarah Henderson, Assistant Director at the Health Foundation said: “We are very excited to support four outstanding project teams and organisations, selected because of their ambition, experience of spreading successful health and care interventions, and importantly, because we think their interventions have considerable potential to be replicated using social franchising or licensing techniques.

“Working together, as part of the Exploring Social Franchising and Licensing programme, we hope to increase understanding of whether social franchising and licensing can be used to support a more sustainable and systematic approach to replicating proven health and social care interventions and the conditions under which these methods are most useful. We hope that we can enable successful inventions to be used more widely to improve care for patients and service users.”

IRISi was launched as a social enterprise on 21 November.

Further information

About IRISi

IRISi is a social enterprise established to promote and improve the health care response to gender based violence.

About the Health Foundation

The Health Foundation is an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK.

Domestic violence facts

Domestic violence and abuse is defined by the UK government as ‘any incident or pattern of incident of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality’.

Globally, direct experience of being subjected to domestic violence is greater among women then among men. In the UK, 27 per cent of women and 13 per cent of men have experienced some form of domestic abuse in their lifetime; 44% of female murder victims compared to 6% of male victims are killed by a partner or an ex-partner (Home Office, 2015). Intimate partner violence is responsible for more ill-health and premature death in women under the age of 45 than any other well-known risk factors including high blood pressure, obesity and smoking (VicHealth, 2004).

For help and support on domestic violence, these services provide free helplines:

National Domestic Violence 24 hr Helpline for women experiencing abuse: 0808 2000 247

Men’s Advice Line for men experiencing abuse: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm: 0808 801 0327

National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 999 5428

RESPECT Phoneline: Confidential helpline offering advice, information and support to anyone concerned about their own or someone else’s violent or abusive behaviour. Monday-Friday 9am-5pm: 0808 802 4040

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