Hospital team safeguarding trafficking victims win NHS Parliamentary Award



Hospital team safeguarding trafficking victims win NHS Parliamentary Award
A safeguarding team at a Trust in Hertfordshire have been recognised in the prestigious NHS Parliamentary Awards, supported by FUJIFILM.

The Safeguarding Team at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust were crowned joint winners of the Health Equalities Award for their work in covert operations, working with the police to provide safe and well checks for potential victims of sex trafficking.

Their work is the first operation to involve a collaboration between health services and the police to safeguard vulnerable individuals who are hard to reach and have limited access to healthcare.

In total, they have carried out eight operations where 40 women have received safe and well checks and further safeguarding investigations have taken place.

They were presented with their award at the House of Commons this afternoon alongside winners of other categories from around the country. They were selected from hundreds of nominations submitted by over 230 MPs.

Ann Radmore, Regional Director for NHS England and Improvement in the East of England, said:

“The Safeguarding Team is a worthy winner for our region in this year’s Parliamentary Awards. Their work is a great example of collaboration between services to safeguard vulnerable people and ensure they are accessing the healthcare they need. Congratulations to the team.”

Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, said:

“It has once again been a privilege to celebrate with some of the extraordinarily dedicated and selfless health and care heroes who make the NHS what it is today – the much-loved institution that our patients say is what makes them most proud to be British.

“From those who have devoted their lives to helping people and supporting some of our most vulnerable, to delivering pioneering lifesaving treatments, the NHS Parliamentary awards are rightly honouring those who continue to make a huge contribution to our country, through our NHS Long Term Plan.”

Richard Harrington, MP for Watford, said:

“It is excellent that the invaluable work of the Safeguarding Team has been awarded. They do such an important job and this recognition is fully deserved.”

Michelle Mulvaney, from the Safeguarding Team, said:

“I am very proud that the West Herts safeguarding team has been recognised with this prestigious award. This gives us a great opportunity to share this vital partnership work protecting potential victims of human trafficking and slavery.

“The team have worked with a very vulnerable, hard to reach group of women who require healthcare, protection and safeguarding. It is vital that this work continues to ensure potential victims are given access to healthcare and support which is often not readily available to them.”

Tracey Carter, Chief Nurse at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said:

“We are delighted to receive a Parliamentary Award in the Health Equalities Award category. This is a real honour to be recognised for the work we carry out in the NHS in West Hertfordshire and an amazing achievement which recognises the hard work and dedication of the safeguarding team who work in partnership with Hertfordshire police to provide invaluable healthcare and safeguarding care for potential victims of trafficking.”



The twelve NHS Parliamentary award winners selected by an expert panel are:

•           The Excellence in Mental Health Care Award, Sponsored by the Premier League: Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

OMHP have created a number of schemes which are benefitting the lives of people living with mental ill health. These include Oxford Safe Haven which offers out of hours crisis support, walking for well-being which offers physical activity, help with employment for people who have experience psychosis and advice on benefits.

•           The Excellence in Health Care Award: Olutayo Arikawe, The Priory Community Pharmacy

Olutayo Arikawe has taken pharmacy care out into her community promoting health in local pubs, supermarkets, town centres, colleges and libraries ensuring it reaches the people that need it the most, in one for the most deprived areas in Dudley. Action includes raising awareness of the signs of cancer such as skin, pancreatic and cervical, taking health checks to people in their workplace such as cholesterol, glucose and blood pressure as well as better alcohol awareness.

•           The Excellence in Urgent and Emergency Care Award: Dr Peter Buchman & the Pathway Homeless Team, the Royal London Hospital and East London NHS Foundation Trust

By building relationships with patients, hospital staff, housing, social care and other partnership organisations Dr Peter Buchman and his team have worked to improve access to care for homeless people. The work is now being replicated across ten hospitals in the UK.

•           The Excellence in Primary Care Award:

Joint Winner: Ade Williams, Bedminster Pharmacy, Bristol

The leading pharmacist has supported a number of pioneering schemes to support the health of people in the local area including the annual men’s health campaign known as the ‘Bemmy challenge’ with pubs, barbers and tattoo parlours and ‘pulse in the pub’ blood pressure checks.

Joint Winner: RESTORE2, West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Wessex Academic Health Science Network

RESTORE2 (Recognise Early Soft-Signs, Take Observations, Respond, Escalate) is a tool that has been designed to recognise the physical deterioration including sepsis of people in nursing or care homes ensuring they get the right care.

•           The Future NHS Award, Sponsored by Fuji Film: The Autologous Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Team led by Professor Basil Sharrack & Professor John Snowden

The pioneering treatment, which was traditional used to treat cancers such as leukaemia and lymphoma, has had a life-changing impact on a number of patients who had previously failed to respond to standard therapies, with some now able to walk, run and even dance as a result of being involved in the trial. The team are now part of international efforts to examine the long-term benefits of the treatment.

•           The Volunteer of the Year Award: Winner: Aintree Hospital Volunteer End of Life Companions, Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Volunteers have sat with 312 patients who are dying over the past year alone offering comfort and allowing them to dies with dignity. The efforts of the army of volunteers has also helped save more than 600 hours of nursing time.

•           The Care and Compassion Award: Kate Tantam & The ICU Rehabilitation Team, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

Kate has been key to improving the recovery of survivors of critical illness at the hospital. Every year around 170,000 people will be admitted to intensive care in the UK with three-quarters suffering from some form of physical or mental trauma following their experience. Working at one of the busiest critical care unit in the country Kate has been instrumental in improving patient experience including introducing animal therapy by way of Hovis the Labradoodle and a ‘Rehab garden’ actively involving patients and their loved ones on their road to recovery.

•           The Health Equalities Award:

Joint Winner: Chantel Palmer, North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust

Midwife Chantal Palmer has worked to ensure vulnerable mothers get the care and support they need in pregnancy and during birth so that their babies get the very best start in life. As a result of her work more women are being seen earlier on in their pregnancy at 11 weeks compared to accessing services in the final stages of their pregnancy meaning they get access to support to quit substance abuse much sooner.

Joint Winner: The Safeguarding Team, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Working with Hertfordshire police to gain the trust of vulnerable women, nurses have participated in a total of eight covert operations linked to sex trafficking from other European countries to the UK that have resulted in 40 women receiving safe and well checks to date. The safeguarding team have provided advice on domestic violence, victim support and rape crisis charities, as well as how to access sexual health support and A&E. Vulnerable women were also given mini physicals and supplied with condoms and pregnancy tests

•           Wellbeing at Work Award: Wellbeing at Work, North Bristol NHS Trust

North Bristol NHS Trust lives by the mantra “Your health is as important as our patients” and offers a number of activities to support staff well-being including sleep and mindfulness support, 24/7 confidential services and training for nearly 200 members of staff in mental health awareness.

•           Lifetime Achievement Award: Pamela Campbell, Solent NHS Trust

Pamela has been instrumental in the development of the Homeless Healthcare Team and is recognised as a national leader in the field of homelessness. Her long career has included notably the Alcohol Day Detoxification Project and the Breathing Space Project, enabling safe and supported discharge of homeless patients. Most recently she has been involved in providing healthcare to Syrian refugees who have been offered asylum in the UK.


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