Surgery helps tackle slavery and trafficking

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A GP surgery helped tackle human trafficking after spotting an increase in Eastern European people registering as patients.

Action to tackle exploitation and modern slavery by Dr N Chandra and Partners, based at Ravensthorpe Health Centre, is highlighted in an inspectors report which rated the practice as “outstanding”.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) praised the surgery, based in the health centre’s North Road Suite, for caring for people from ethnic minorities, including the Polish, Hungarian and Asian communities.

After staff became aware of people suffering modern slavery, policies were drawn up to raise awareness of the problem and get help if patients failed to turn up for appointments.

The CQC’s inspection report said: “The practice noticed an increase in young Eastern European patients registering with the practice.

“Staff were aware of examples of human trafficking locally.

“We saw information about help for victims of modern slavery was available to patients in English, Polish, Hungarian, Lithuanian and Romanian languages.”

The practice saw a 40 per cent increase in registration of European patients between February and April this year compared with October-December in 2015.

New leaflets were produced in Romanian and Hungarian after people from those communities failed to attend 21 per cent of their appointments.

The report said: “After the introduction of these resources the fail-to-attend rate decreased to 10 per cent.”

Efforts to help dementia patients and support carers were also praised in the report after the inspection in April.

Dr Janet Williamson, the CQC’s deputy chief inspector of general practice, said: “This is a great example of what outstanding care looks like.”