Primary Care Pathways to Safety – Secondary consult and service navigation


1 July 2024 - 30 June 2025

Funding Amount:

$93,335 each



Melbourne Macedon Ranges Yarra Moonee Valley Darebin Maribyrnong Hobsons Bay Wyndham Brimbank Moorabool Melton Hume Merri-bek


North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care for the Primary Care Pathways to Safety program expansion.

Primary Care Pathways to Safety builds capability in general practice to improve confidence to respond to family violence (FV), and to build greater cohesion and coordination across local health, social care, and FV services.

A large proportion of women seek help from general practice, but many do not receive an appropriate response. Hence, the need to provide support to primary care providers to assist with this process, and to help them triage their patient presentations of FV.

According to the Victorian Government, secondary consultation is a key aspect of building a shared understanding of family violence and the development of system-wide consistent and collaborative practice.

The Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (MARAM) explains the purpose of secondary consultation with FV specialist services is to seek support in:

  • understanding the level of risk and intersectional needs of a patient or client
  • determining actions in line with assessed level of risk
  • determining whether a referral is required for a specialist FV response.

As part of the activities within this program, NWMPHN has commissioned two family violence specialist services — Berry Street and GenWest — to provide secondary consult and service navigation support for general practices within the catchment.

Berry Street is located in the north, and GenWest is in the west. Between them, they will be able to provide tailored advice and support in accordance with the MARAM framework.

The secondary consult services will be available on weekdays between 9am and 5pm. They will:

  • Provide support to professionals needing advice or guidance in relation to working with someone impacted by family violence, through the availability of secondary consultations. The scope of these could include supporting referral options, risk assessments and risk managements, culturally safe engagement with First Nations people or people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
  • Provide secondary consultations by phone or email. The service provision within these hours will be at the discretion of the FV specialist service.
  • Assist general practices and primary care professionals to support their patients in navigating services within the health system and other sectors or specialist organisations. This could include warm referrals for victim survivors.


The service aims to:

  • Improve the capability of general practices through the provision of guidance on risk assessment, safety planning, referrals, and advice in relation to a patient affected by FV.
  • Support appropriate referral pathways and system navigation for general practices to support their patients.
  • Increased integration and collaboration between general practices and local FV specialist services.

Services involved