Paramedic Tracy Cunningham and Dr Raj from Wilson Street GP Practice collect their joint award
Congratulations are in order for Derbyshire paramedic Tracy Cunningham, Dr Komal Raj and Dr Drew Smith who have been recognised for their work and efforts in their local community.
Tracy, along with Dr Raj and Dr Smith from Wilson Street Surgery in Derby, have received the Lionel Massingham Partnership Award from Derby Homes for their partnership work in helping some of Derby’s most vulnerable people.
Alongside saving lives in her day job, over the last few years Tracy has helped homeless and vulnerable people suffering with their mental health, drug addiction and historical abuse. She regularly treats hundreds of people at Safe Space in the city and helps to get them back on their feet.
More recently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tracy and the Wilson Street Surgery who lead the work to provide primary care services for the homeless in Derby joined up with Derby Homes. Together they identified those most at risk in the city including rough sleepers, those using Safe Space and those at high risk of returning to the streets, and offered them the COVID- 19 vaccine.
Thanks to the excellent collaborative work between Tracy, Dr Raj and Dr Smith with Derby Homes and Safe Space, out of 300 individuals identified with a history of rough sleeping/at risk of return to the streets, 242 (80%) have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and 132 (44%) have already received both vaccine doses.
As many in the homeless community recognise and trust Tracy, her involvement in the process has helped to encourage a number of homeless people to get vaccinated who would usually be reluctant to engage with healthcare.
Tracy said: “The partnership working between EMAS and Wilson Street has enabled us to reach this vulnerable street client group, protect them and lead the way with this now being picked up in other cities. I feel privileged to be part of the team.”
Tim Slater, Divisional Director for Derbyshire at East Midlands Ambulance Service said:
“Tracy as part of a whole team are worthy winners of this award. Throughout the duration of this programme of work, she has been a true credit to EMAS and the paramedic role and profession, supporting the overall health and wellbeing requirements of homeless people within Derby.
“I am immensely proud of Tracy and the teams continued efforts so a big congratulations and thank you from me.”
Dr Raj said he was delighted that the hard work of so many people had been recognised: "We already have a great working relationship with Tracy and the council when it comes to providing healthcare to these vulnerable people, so it's really a recognition of how well we are working together.
"It was really satisfying to be able to provide these vaccinations, but it wouldn't have happened without colleagues from multiple organisations working together so effectively."
The Lionel Massingham Award was created to recognise the work of Derby Homes’ Board Member, Lionel Massingham, who sadly passed away in 2006. Each year, Derby Homes’ employees are asked to nominate partner organisations who they feel have worked well with them over the last twelve months.