Leeds Outreach Team Vaccinating Homeless During Pandemic Wins Parliamentary Award


The Leeds Street Outreach Initiative for Hepatitis C is among the winners of this year’s NHS Parliamentary Awards.

The team won the Healthcare Equalities Award – one of nine prestigious awards categories – and was joined by two other finalists in separate categories from Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT).

The awards, arranged by the NHS and supported by Fuji Film, recognise and celebrate some of the biggest achievements in health and social care across the country. The national awards ceremony was opened by the Prime Minister at One Great George Street, Westminster, on Wednesday last week.

North East and Yorkshire’s MPs sent hundreds of examples of staff who have gone above and beyond the call of duty including doctors, support workers and volunteers who worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to make a genuine difference to the people they care for.

During the first national lockdown, LTHT’s Viral Hepatitis Team and West Yorkshire Hepatitis C Virus Operational Delivery Network worked to deliver a project engaging the hard-to-reach vulnerable adult rough sleepers in the community who were temporarily placed in hotels around the city. The teams worked to engage, test and treat this group for Hepatitis C as well as looking after their general health and wellbeing.

Using a mobile clinic, the teams met up at different hotels and hostels around the city to test vulnerable individuals for the virus. During this initiative some individuals were also able to start their Hepatitis C treatment to cure them of the virus.

Lisa Grant, Chief Nurse at LTHT, said: “We know that the COVID-19 pandemic did not affect all parts of our communities equally, and our clinical teams have been absolutely committed to addressing those inequalities.

“Our Viral Hepatitis Team built a really effective initiative, working closely with Bevan Outreach team and the Hepatitis C Trust, to engage with vulnerable adult rough sleepers, testing and treating them for Hepatitis C, and caring for them at this difficult time.

“We’re incredibly proud of the team for their compassionate approach and for the excellent work they have done to help a patient group in real need. This integrated approach to community healthcare points the way forward for the NHS.”

The outreach initiative was supported by Leeds Hospitals Charity and individuals who were tested by the team also received a care package kindly donated by the charity.

The outreach team joined two other finalists from LTHT at the awards last week, after winning the regional stages of the competition last November. 

Emily Lane, Apprentice Nurse on Ward J20 at St James’s Hospital, was regional winner and finalist for the NHS Rising Star Award. Emily is based on the regional Infectious Diseases and Travel Medicine Unit, and was nominated for her courage and compassion during the testing of drive-through patients for COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic.

The Future You programme team, was regional winner and finalist for the Wellbeing at Work Award for their work in developing a programme of apprenticeships at LTHT. The programme enables people from all walks of life to get into healthcare through clinical apprenticeships, progressing at their own pace to achieve the highest qualification they choose.

The finalists made a shortlist selected from more than 700 entries submitted by almost half of all MPs in England in September last year. All three teams were originally nominated by Rt Hon. Hilary Benn MP.

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