A local team committed to supporting homeless people in Tower Hamlets to live healthier, better lives has today been awarded a top accolade in the prestigious NHS Parliamentary Awards.
Led by local GP Dr Peter Buchman, the Pathway Homeless team have beaten the rest of the country to pick up the acclaimed Excellence in Urgent and Emergency Care Award.
Working at The Royal London Hospital and East London NHS Foundation Trust, the team were rewarded for their tireless work improving care for vulnerable homeless people. The work is now being replicated across ten hospitals in the UK.
The NHS Parliamentary Awards sees the NHS and MPs join forces to honour some of the biggest achievements in health and social care from across the country.
Jim Fitzpatrick MP, who represents Poplar and Limehouse, nominated the team. He said: "I am absolutely delighted that the Pathway Homeless Team? are the national winners in the NHS Parliamentary Awards. This is well-deserved and a great example of joint working between ELFT, Barts Health and the Clinical Commissioning Group to truly support homeless people who are among the most vulnerable in Tower Hamlets. Congratulations to everyone involved."
People who are homeless often have a complex mix of physical health problems, and can also be living with mental health and addiction problems. Once discharged from hospital, many will quickly deteriorate and be readmitted to hospital due to difficulty accessing care and support.
The Pathway team based at The Royal London Hospital are improving this by working closely with colleagues both inside and outside the hospital with the ultimate aim of ensuring homeless people do not get discharged back to the street, but instead are found other options for housing, healthcare and ongoing support in the community.
The team also encourage rough sleepers and people in temporary housing to register with a doctor at Health E1 Homeless Medical Centre in Brick Lane in Aldgate.
Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, explained: “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.”
Sir Sam Everington, a local GP and Chair of NHS Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “I am incredibly proud the team have won this national NHS award. It recognises the fantastic work carried out by ELFT, The Royal London Hospital, the CCG and local partners, delivering outcomes for vulnerable homeless people.
“It’s great the team are already a source of inspiration for ten hospitals across the UK.”
The NHS parliamentary awards ceremony saw twelve winners honoured on Wednesday 10th July at the Palace of Westminster’s Terrace Pavilion, hosted by Dr Sara Kayat, NHS GP & TV Doctor.