Negotiating organisational blame to foster learning: Professionals’ perspectives about Domestic Homicide Reviews

Haines‐Delmont, Alina, Bracewell, Kelly orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-4635-7489 and Chantler, Khatidja (2022) Negotiating organisational blame to foster learning: Professionals’ perspectives about Domestic Homicide Reviews. Health & Social Care in the Community . ISSN 1365-2524

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Abstract: Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) are a statutory requirement in England and Wales, conducted when somebody aged 16 and over dies from violence, abuse or neglect by a relative, intimate partner or member of the same household. While key aims of DHRs are to identify recommendations and lessons learned to eventually prevent further domestic homicides, there is limited evidence globally regarding the extent to which these are followed up or make a difference. This paper explores the barriers and facilitators to the conduct and impact of DHRs to enhance their learning potential. It is based on nineteen qualitative interviews with professionals involved in the DHR process across five Safeguarding Boards in Wales and fourteen Community Safety Partnerships in the North‐West of England, UK. Findings are presented thematically under four section headings: upskilling and democratising the review process; family and friends’ involvement; negotiating organisational blame to foster learning; and actioning and auditing recommendations. It is suggested that organisational learning cannot be achieved without accepting organisational responsibility, which could be interpreted as blame. The role and skills of the Chair are perceived as key to ensure a safe, evidence‐based, transparent and learning‐focused DHR process. Developing and actioning recommendations may challenge longstanding prejudices. Promoting the role of families/survivor networks and professionals on an equal footing would support a more democratic process. Learning could be enhanced by thematising recommendations and proactively using lessons from one area to inform another. Participants called for appropriate central regulation and accountability to support the action of recommendations.

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