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Published
15 June 2022

Trust 's Outreach Service Win NHS Parliamentary Award for London

A Trust service has been named London region winner of the NHS Parliamentary Awards 2022. 

News
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Outreach team

The Homeless and Vulnerable Person Outreach Service is the regional winner in the Primary Care and Community Care category after being nominated by Dame Meg Hillier MP for the difference the team is making to vulnerable people in her Hackney South and Shoreditch constituency.

On hearing the news, the service, made up of GPs, nurses and local support staff, were ‘over the moon’, said ELFT’s Primary Care Head of Operations, Irfaan Ibne. 

In her nomination, Dame Meg described how the team successfully managed to connect and build relationships with historically non-engaging patients or patients not registered with The Greenhouse Practice in Hackney, while providing health-related interventions, improving quality of life, and making access easier. 

The outreach service also provides the same care across Newham and Tower Hamlets, with the team operating from the Newham Transitional Practice (Newham), and Health E1 (Tower Hamlets). 

The team looks after asylum seekers across the three boroughs and refugees under the Afghan resettlement scheme in the City of London. 

The Homeless and Vulnerable Person Outreach Service started life in May 2020, in response to the government ‘Everyone In’ policy.

The GLA and local authorities placed many people who had been rough sleeping into temporary accommodation.  

The service responded quickly to try to support these people across City & Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets.  
 
This gave the service a unique opportunity to further develop their out and in-reach health care strategy – and a vital opportunity to build up trust with a cohort of patients traditionally seen as difficult to engage.   
 
This work then developed into caring for Asylum Seekers placed in temporary hotel accommodation, which further evolved into looking after refugees as part of the Afghan resettlement scheme.  
 
They also provide in-reach care to local hospitals to support patients, at all times focusing upon supporting positive housing outcomes for when they transfer back into the community. 

The service’s work to improve people’s health and housing aligns with one of ELFT’s long-term strategic aims – to improve whole population health through partnership working.

On receiving the news of the service’s win, Dr Theresa Murphy De Souza, a member of the team and Clinical Lead for the Homerton Pathways Team said: 

"On behalf of the team, I'd like to say how delighted we all are.

 "We are all very proud of the work we do to ensure that the homeless, refugees and asylum seekers get the healthcare provision they need. 

“This is only made possible because of the excellent partnership working between the Greenhouse surgery in City & Hackney, Newham Transitional Practice in Newham, and Health E1 in Tower Hamlets. 

“They enabled this service to be born out of the crisis of the pandemic. We now provide wrap-around care. Supporting our patients on the street, in temporary accommodation, into hospital and out again. 

“A truly holistic service for the most vulnerable among us. It feels great to have our hardworking team recognised" 

Dr Mohit Venkataram, ELFT’s Executive Director Lead for Primary Care said:

"This is tremendous news and very well deserved. 

"The team are system leaders in delivering joined-up, effective care for some of the most vulnerable people in our community.
 
"I'm so proud that the leadership and dedication of the team and its members have been recognised. They are an asset to the Trust and the wider NHS." 

The service now goes on to the NHS Parliamentary Award national finals taking place later this year.

See the other regional winners and keep up to date with the NHS Parliamentary Awards 2022 here.