Chrisp Street Practice, based in Poplar, East London, has won an award for achievement for helping the long-term unemployed get back into work.
The GP Practice has been chosen by employment charity Tomorrow's People in its annual Awards for Achievement. The awards pay tribute to people who have overcome significant barriers in their quest to get back to work and partner organisations that deserve special recognition for their support.
The organisation won in the category "Community Partner of the Year", which is awarded to a community group that has helped further the work of Tomorrow's People. Janet Pascoe, Assistant Practice Manager, picked up the award at a ceremony in London earlier this week.
The practice began working with Tomorrow's People in 2006, participating in the "Getting East London Patients Working" project. This enables a specialist employment adviser from the charity to be placed within the practice to help patients get back into work, education or training.
Under the project, patients who are out of work for health or disability reasons and who may or may not be claiming incapacity, disability or other sickness benefits, and who would like independent, one-to-one confidential advice about finding and keeping a job, can now make an appointment with the Tomorrow's People employment adviser dedicated to the Chrisp Street Practice. The service is provided at no cost to the practice or to the patient.
Simon Robinson, Practice Manager for Chrisp Street Practice said: "Research has shown that unemployment damages people's lives in many ways, including susceptibility to ill-health. Individuals at our practice can now register with the Tomorrow's People Adviser on a voluntary basis. Their independence from the government's benefits system makes it easier to win the patient's confidence and means that the adviser can devote more time to the referred patient, which is vital in gaining their trust. Our GPs have also noted that the service allows their time to be used more effectively to diagnose health issues."
Margaret Strickland, Local Operations Manager for Tomorrow's People said: "Chrisp Street Practice has been vital to Tomorrow's People's success in Tower Hamlets. It always takes a while for both patients and GPs to recognise the value of our service. Several patients at the surgery are now in full or part-time employment-and feedback from the GPs and staff have been hugely positive, all having noticed improvements."
This initiative is based on Tomorrow's People's background of success running similar projects across 80 GPs' surgeries, hospitals and health centres in various areas of the UK, including London, Merseyside, Devon, Bristol, Tyneside, and Glasgow.