2015 Bevan Prize: Michelle Farley and Homerton’s TB Team

Bevan Foundation
NewsJuly 2nd, 2015

It’s day four of profiling our Bevan Prize finalists, and today it’s the turn of Michelle Farley and Homerton University Hospital’s TB Team. To read more about the 2015 Bevan Prize for Health and Wellbeing click here.

Michelle Farley

Finalist – Individual category

Michelle Farley founded Sexual Health on Call – a health and wellbeing programme for women sex workers – in 1997.  While it offers the services that are provided by most sexual health clinics such as reproductive health advice and STI testing, Michelle’s programme is designed around a more holistic approach to meeting the health and wellbeing needs of sex workers.

Sexual Health on Call offers advice and assistance on substance misuse, personal safety, housing, mental health and wellbeing, as well as personal development. By engaging women through night outreach, drop-in clinics and workshops, Michelle’s team has supported 600 women a year.

Working in the London Borough of Haringey, Michelle ensured that the most vulnerable sex workers were able to access vital screening services by making them available to outreach service users as soon as technology made this possible. This initiative doubled the uptake of screenings.

The colleague who nominated her said: “Michelle is able to improve other professionals’ understanding of the importance of healthcare for all. For example, she set up a court diversion scheme with the police where women can avoid prosecution by attending Sexual Health on Call.

“We are always impressed by Michelle’s energetic and innovative approach to work in partnership with other providers to bring new services to her clients, such as home fire safety checks, time banking, NHS health checks and cycling classes.

“While being an NHS service offering high quality clinical care, Sexual Health on Call offers sanctuary and holistic care from the distressing lives some of the women lead.”

To read more about the Michelle’s programme, click here.

TB Team – Homerton University Hospital

Finalist – Organisation category

Homerton University Hospital’s TB Team is a nurse-led  multidisciplinary team of seven working in the London Borough of Hackney, which has one of the highest rates of TB in the UK. They hold clinics and therapy service for patients at the hospital, while the rest of their work is community-based.

After the team observed the particular challenges faced by homeless patients and the risk of transmission to other homeless people, they realised they would continue to experience high levels of morbidity and mortality unless they could be housed. They worked with Hackney Council’s housing department to negotiate a service level agreement with them to ensure that all TB patients with no recourse to public funds are housed for the duration of their TB treatment.

The team said: “We have been together since 2009, and share congruent values in terms of the care that we want to deliver to our patients, especially those with complex needs and multiple morbidities.

The London Borough of Hackney is a densely populated, ethnically diverse area. Although Hackney has undergone rapid gentrification recently, there are still significant numbers of people living in deprivation and poverty, and the Borough still acts as a magnet to migrants both legal and undocumented, many of whom join hard to reach, socially excluded groups.

Reaching these groups has been a priority for our team, and our ethos is to take the services to them, in the form of outreach work on the streets, in the parks and wasteland, and in the various soup kitchens and other organisations which offer services to homeless people. However, once found and put on treatment, our team found that maintaining a homeless person on TB treatment posed other, major challenges which had to be overcome in order to cure these patients: their homelessness and no recourse to public funds.”

Click here to read more about the services offered by the TB Team.

The 2015 Bevan Prize for Health and Wellbeing is sponsored by:

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