BMA report

Domestic abuse in the health profession report

Doctors may experience domestic abuse themselves - our report looks at why this is a workplace issue, support that should be provided, and barriers to doctors accessing support.

Location: England Scotland
Audience: All doctors
Updated: Friday 28 June 2024
Topics: NHS delivery and workforce
NHS Structure Article Illustration

Domestic abuse can have a devastating impact. It affects not only an individual’s home and personal life, but also their wellbeing, confidence and performance at work.


What you'll get from this report

  • Recommendations for employers to action to ensure doctors have access to support for domestic abuse.
  • Briefing on the barriers doctors face to accessing support and why it's a workplace issue.
  • Results from our FOI request to health boards and trusts on their domestic abuse policies and processes.


Key recommendations

All doctors working in trusts and health boards in the UK should have support available to them at work. To ensure this:

  • all trusts and health boards should have a domestic abuse policy for staff as well as patients
  • trusts and health boards should ensure their policies align with the NHS staff council model policy and Scottish PIN policy respectively
  • all trusts and health boards that currently have a combined staff and patient domestic abuse policy should consider developing a separate policy specifically about supporting staff
  • all trusts and health boards should ensure they have a trained designated point of contact.
  • all trusts and health boards should ensure policies are reviewed and updated regularly and are easily accessible to managers and staff.
  • Recommendations to improve domestic abuse support
  • What is domestic abuse
  • Why domestic abuse is a workplace issue
  • Unique barriers for doctors
  • Examples of good practice and domestic abuse policies
  • Case studies
  • FOI research findings