'Undercover nurses' honoured in NHS Parliamentary Awards

West Herts safeguarding team help potential victims of sex trafficking

West Herts safeguarding team help potential victims of sex trafficking

West Herts’ safeguarding team’s lead nurse Michelle Mulvaney (centre front) with colleagues

‘Undercover nurses’ who worked with police during covert human trafficking operations have been recognised for their efforts in the NHS Parliamentary Awards.

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s safeguarding team, which provides safe and well checks for potential victims of sex trafficking, were joint winners of the awards’ heath equalities category.

Range of services

The team participated in eight covert operations linked to sex trafficking from other European countries to the UK, and 40 women have received safe and well checks to date.

The West Herts team also provide advice on domestic violence, victim support and rape crisis charities, as well as how to access sexual health support and emergency departments.

Sharing best practice

The safeguarding team’s lead nurse, Michelle Mulvaney, said they were proud to receive the award.

‘This gives us a great opportunity to share this vital partnership work protecting potential victims of human trafficking and slavery,’ she said.

‘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.’

The team, which was also nominated for an RCNi nurse award, shared the health equalities award with North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust midwife Chantel Palmer, who was honoured for her work with vulnerable mothers.

Focus on homelessness

Another nurse award winner was Pamela Campbell, nurse consultant for homelessness and health inequalities at Solent NHS Trust, who received the lifetime achievement award for her work in the field of homelessness.

Ms Campbell has been instrumental in the development of the award-winning Alcohol Day Detoxification Project and the Breathing Space Project, which enables safe and supported discharge of homeless patients.

Most recently she has been involved in the initial stages of healthcare to Syrian refugees who have been offered asylum in the UK, as well as a peer advocacy project to help homeless people to engage better with health services.

Fundamental right

Ms Campbell said: ‘It has been my privilege for the past 27 years to work with people experiencing the lack of one of the most fundamental human rights – a home.’

The twelve winners, who were all nominated for the awards by MPs, will be honoured at the NHS Parliamentary Awards ceremony today at the Palace of Westminster.

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