New family violence secondary consultation service launched for NWMPHN catchment

  10 July 2024  NWMPHN   

North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) has commissioned GenWest and Berry Street to provide family violence secondary consultation to primary care providers in its catchment.

The service will connect primary care practitioners with specialist family violence providers for expert advice by phone or email between 9am and 5pm on business days.

Why is this service needed?

Secondary consultation is a key aspect of building a shared understanding of family violence and development of system-wide consistent and collaborative practice.

Primary care providers may observe indicators of family violence in their patients, who may or may not disclose their experience of family violence. Every situation is different, so GPs and practice nurses can now contact our secondary consult service to seek information and advice.

While primary care practitioners may have a good understanding of a patient’s overall health needs and personal circumstances, consultation with a family violence expert can strengthen the response for each patient. It will help guide and build on the patient’s support plan, taking into account their risk and safety profile.

What does the service provide?

Family violence experts from GenWest and Berry Street will support primary care practitioners to understand:

  • different referral pathways for support based on a patient’s individual needs
  • information sharing options to increase safety
  • safety planning options for patients experiencing family violence
  • where to access secondary consultation to respond to patients identified as perpetrator of family violence.

The service will also help practitioners to:

  • build knowledge and increase capacity to respond in future consultations
  • improve sensitive engagement with different types of patients
  • consider a whole-of-family approach
  • understand how family violence may present in different communities and advise on services that provide culturally safe services or support for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people
  • access family violence resource packs.

Please note: this is not a crisis response line.

How to request a secondary consultation

Secondary consults are available to all primary care providers in the NWMPHN catchment on business days from 9am to 5pm. The service can be requested by phone or email. Please contact either GenWest or Berry Street based on your location.

GenWest provides services in the Melbourne, Moonee Valley, Maribyrnong, Hobsons Bay, Wyndham, Brimbank and Melton local government areas.

Contact GenWest on 1800 436 937 or by email to:

Berry Street provides services in the Hume, Merri-Bek, Yarra and Darebin local government areas.

Contact Berry Street on (03) 9450 4700 or by email to:

The service is funded until 30 June 2025.

For further information:

HealthPathways Melbourne – Family violence

NWMPHN – Family violence

GenWest – Specialist family violence secondary consultations for local GPs

Berry Street