Health Pathfinder evaluation reports

Evaluation findings from the innovative pilot project to transform healthcare’s response to domestic violence and abuse

The Pathfinder project was a 3-year national pilot project to transform Health’s response to domestic abuse. It aimed to address the links between domestic abuse and health and improve health professionals’ response to survivors in three distinct areas; acute hospital trusts, mental health trusts and GP practices. It brought together the expertise of specialist domestic abuse organisations through its consortium of experts to create an innovative, comprehensive and sustainable model responding to domestic abuse across the health economy.

On this page you can read the independent evaluation of the project by Cardiff University as well reports from the project’s survivor consultation and project key findings.

The pilot project ran from 2017 to 2020 and was led by Standing Together as part of a consortium of expert partners made up of SafeLives, Imkaan, AVA, IRISi and Standing Together. The project engaged nine clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and 18 NHS trusts across England to implement sustainable interventions in eight local areas. Findings of the Pathfinder pilot informed the ‘Whole Health’ model.

    Independent evaluation of the pilot found

  • 11%

    increase in the rate of cases discussed in Marac

    which continued to significantly increase each quarter after implementation by 10%

  • 33%

    increase in identification of 'standard risk' cases

    increasing the ability to identify and refer victims of domestic abuse to appropriate services before risk escalates

Key findings

The independent evaluation reviewed the effectiveness of Health Pathfinder as a model for improving the healthcare response to domestic abuse. The findings show that more victims and survivors, generally women, were helped to safety, sooner.

  • Health Pathfinder significantly increased the rate of cases discussed in Maracs which continued to increase each quarter after implementation
  • Health Pathfinder improved detection of domestic abuse across a wider spectrum of risk increasing the ability to identify and refer victims and survivors to appropriate services before risk escalates.
  • Findings evidenced system improvements across multiple stakeholders and an improved ‘whole health response’

Read the technical report for full findings.

Find out more about the Health Pathfinder project

Further research and reading


A national project to transform healthcare's response to domestic violence and abuse by ensuring a coordinated and consistent approach across the health system.
Hands typing on a laptop on a desk with a stethoscope in the foreground


Research and resources for healthcare professionals to improve the response to supporting victims of domestic abuse.