The Children’s Health Inclusion Team for Liverpool was named ‘Team of the Year’ at the 2016 CPHVA Awards, which took place in London last Friday
The CPHVA (Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association) is a leading UK professional organisation for health visitors, school nurses, nursery nurses and other community nurses working in primary care.
Each year the CPHVA Awards recognise outstanding work and best practice amongst Community Practitioners and Health Visitors across the UK and beyond.
The Children’s Health Inclusion Team was named ‘Team of the Year’ for going above and beyond in their work to support vulnerable asylum seeker families in the region.
The service is delivered by Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust and based at Vauxhall Health Centre. The team is made up of eight specialist health visitors, community children’s nurses, a nursery nurse and admin worker.
The team provides detailed health assessments for all children who are placed at the Home Office North West Initial Accommodation Centre, for people who have newly claimed asylum.
Many of the families they see have only recently arrived in the UK and often have no prior health information or documentation. The assessment is therefore crucial in identifying any immediate child health or development concerns, reviewing immunisation status, and screening for any symptoms of illness – many of which require immediate action.
The team also help educate asylum seeker families on how to access health services or other support or advocacy services, and provide support to help them overcome any language, social or cultural barriers they may face.
The team was particularly recognised by the CPHVA Awards for their high level of commitment to their clients, their continual innovation to improve clinical outcomes, and for how they have developed excellent communication systems with key partners including the Home Office, Serco housing, GPs, council services, PSS and Assylum Link to ensure that when the families leave the initial stage of their asylum process, their forwarding address is obtained and any health information can follow them with detailed handovers.
Sue McCormick, Team Leader for the Children’s Health Inclusion Team explained:
“I am absolutely delighted that the work of our service has been recognised in this way by the CPHVA Awards, for the vital but challenging role we play in supporting asylum seeker children and their families. The team frequently sees families whose only possessions are the clothes they are standing in. Many have travelled for several months before arriving in the UK, and have been living in dreadful conditions such as temporary camps, refrigerated lorries or small boats. Some children we see have also been separated from family members as a result of conflict or their journeys. The process of providing health assessments and care can be extremely complex and fraught with issues, but the team always go to every length possible to ensure the best health outcomes for each family.”
Carole Pantelli, Interim Director of Nursing for the Trust added:
“This award recognition is extremely well deserved and a credit to the whole of the Children’s Health Inclusion Team who work incredibly hard, consistently going above and beyond the call of duty in order to improve the health, wellbeing and overall quality of life of many asylum seeker families.”
Three members of the team from Liverpool attended the awards ceremony to pick up the award on behalf of the Trust, which was held in London on 8th April.
For more information about the awards, please visit: www.communitypractitioner.com