York St Health Practice and Leeds Institute of Medical Education (LIME) are the first GP practice and medical institute to receive Sanctuary Awards for health in the UK. These were presented at the ‘NHS- Meeting the Needs of Everyone’ workshop held at the West Yorkshire Playhouse on Friday 27th November.
York St Health practice specialise in offering support to asylum seekers, refugees and the homeless in Leeds. In the evidence they submitted to the Health Stream of Sanctuary they clearly demonstrated that they believe in holistic care, giving people hope and supporting the wellbeing of their patients. They go out of their way to make people welcome, work closely in partnership with statutory and third sector organisations, run awareness raising sessions on asylum issues for others which enables them to support asylum seekers and refugees and have won a national award for a digital inclusion project they have run through which they have been able to donate IT tablets to local refugee organisations to enable them to support asylum seekers and refugees to access health.
Over the last 15 years LIME has been engaged with the voluntary sector in Leeds and has arranged placements for medical students in the community. This year, medical students worked with a group of asylum seeking and refugee women to create a banner to display what they would like from their doctor which is now displayed outside the Dean’s office. As well as going out into the community members of the health stream of sanctuary have run awareness raising sessions for medical staff and students and it is hope that asylum issues will be incorporated even more into the curriculum in future years. A representative from LIME now sits on the regional health stream and efforts are being made to set up a course at LIME for refugee doctors to be able to practice medicine in the UK.