On 17th May 2017, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has announced that Nurses and healthcare workers will receive a new pocket guide to help spot victims of trafficking and address the absence of modern slavery awareness training in the NHS.
The new pocket guide will be sent to nursing staff across the UK after National Health Service (NHS) figures revealed that 86 per cent of staff do not feel adequately skilled to recognise the signs of slavery. The guide will help nurses in GP surgeries; A&E, walk-in centres and maternity wards see the signs of modern slavery and allow them to help people who are being seriously oppressed.
Every year around 13,000 men, women and children are trafficked for exploitation in the UK and forced to work in prostitution, manual labour or domestic roles.
The guide was launched during the union’s annual congress in Liverpool, which has seen both Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Liberal Democrat Tim Farron give speeches to the RCN’s members.
According to the guide, nurses should recognise potential indicators such as STIs, signs of trauma, pregnancy and poor nutrition. Nurses are also informed not to raise concern about trafficking with anybody accompanying the patient, but rather find a private space to discuss the problem.
The guide instructs that nurses should be worried if they meet:
RCN professional lead for Midwifery and Women’s Health, Carmel Bagness said that the victims of trafficking and slavery were often hidden from public view, so it was very important that healthcare staff take the chance to identify victims of slavery and know how to alert the applicable services.
She further added that the pocket guide will help to educate all nursing staff, so that the health service does everything it can in the fight against modern slavery.
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