Hackney scoops two national health awards

Hackney and the City’s Teenage Pregnancy Partnership won a prestigious national award at the Health and Social Care Awards at Wembley Stadium last night (Tuesday July 1st). The Award recognises the achievements of the partnership in achieving a dramatic fall in teenage conception rates of 28% since 1998 - more than double the national average.

A second award went to Janette Hynes, a Hackney-based senior occupational therapist who set up a pioneering football league for people with mental illness. A former professional footballer and coach herself, Janette won the Leadership for Improvement Award.

The Awards, run by the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement and the Department of Health, are designed to showcase best practice from the frontline, and this year received 2,500 applications.

Councillor Rita Krishna, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Tackling teenage pregnancy is an important part of Hackney’s drive to reduce inequalities and to extend opportunity to all young people in the borough. I’m very pleased that the Teenage Pregnancy Partnership’s achievements in this area have been recognised with this Award.”

Jacqui Harvey, Chief Executive of the City and Hackney Primary Care Trust, said: “We are delighted to be recognized nationally as a leader in reducing health inequalities in our local population. Bringing down the rates of teenage pregnancy in Hackney even further will help our young people thrive and enable a better quality of life.”

Hackney and the City’s Teenage Pregnancy Partnership works with local service providers, such as the Homerton Hospital, the City and Hackney Primary Care Trust, the Council and the Learning Trust, as well as the community and voluntary sector and young people themselves, to provide a range of measures aimed at reducing teenage conception.

The measures include peer-led sex education, training in sex education for professionals, teenage-only health services, free condoms through youth services, emergency contraception from pharmacies, and support for young parents to return to education - including young fathers. Hackney and the City’s Teenage Pregnancy Partnership is the biggest in the country, with the majority of its funding coming from Team Hackney, the local strategic partnership.

Baroness Molly Meacher, Chair of East London NHS Foundation Trust, was at the event to see Janette receive her award. She said: “Janette Hynes is a truly remarkable person. She has already transformed the lives of hundreds of service users with severe mental health problems. In my view she has the capacity to put sport on the mental health map nationally and indeed internationally. I am proud to have Janette contributing to the work of the Trust.”