Vulnerable women seeking refuge in Swansea Bay can access medical care and support to help improve their health and well-being.
Staff in primary care work with local charities to help women in need, and their children, stay safe and well for as long as they stay in the area.
Women who turn to charities such as Women’s Aid for refuge after arriving in Swansea Bay are put in contact with members of staff in the health board’s primary care services.
Each woman is offered a check-up where they can discuss any concerns surrounding their health or medication and staff can make sure they are receiving all of the support they need.
They will also be offered the chance to catch up with routine screenings they may not have been able to attend, while their children can receive immunisations they may have missed.
Unfortunately, the festive season can often see an increase in the number of domestic abuse incidents.
Increased alcohol intake, financial pressures and spending longer periods of time in close proximity are just some of the elements that can heighten tensions at home in some cases.
During the health check-up, staff also have discussions with the women about whether they have experienced domestic violence or any other form of abuse.
If so, they are then able to refer them to a number of services within the health board so they can receive the appropriate care and support.
Whether the women are local to the Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot areas or have fled from much further afield, they will still be able to access the help on offer.
A Swansea Bay University Health Board spokesperson said: “This is a very valuable service to be able to help these women and their children access services they need.
“They are initially offered a check-up appointment to go through their medical needs and to make sure they are receiving the support they need.
“During this appointment staff can check to make sure they are up to date with their screenings and immunisations.
“They also carry out a wellness check to make sure everything is OK and they can refer them to several services which offer support for domestic abuse.
“Without this service, these women would be arriving in the Swansea Bay area and wouldn’t necessarily be able to access the care they need and people may not be aware of the difficulties they are going through.”
You can find information and advice on getting help and support for domestic violence on the NHS website here: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/getting-help-for-domestic-violence/