Supporting victims of modern slavery through healthcare services

Department of Health: 2nd December

The PROTECT (Provider Responses, Treatment and Care for Trafficked People) research project recently published its independent findings in the ‘British Medical Journal Open’ journal. Sponsored by DH, the research shows that up to 1 in 8 NHS professionals reported having contact with a patient they suspected may have been trafficked.

Further findings published by the Lancet Psychiatry show that hospital mental health services are seeing trafficked people with a range of diagnoses, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia.

Many trafficking survivors talk of experiencing physical violence and psychological abuse. Research evidence shows they have poor mental health and many, especially women, are sexually abused and may acquire sexually transmitted infections as well as having to cope with unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

The research highlights how important it is that the health system has an understanding of modern slavery and the need for training tools to support health professionals in identifying and providing support for victims. The DH e-learning tool for staff on identifying and responding to modern slavery has been updated and is available on the largest e-learning portal for NHS staff: e-Learning for Healthcare.

Read the full news story via gov.uk

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