‘Doc Route’ wins award

A PROJECT helping students from deprived backgrounds to become doctors has won a national award.

The Newham Doc Route, run by the borough’s NHS Trust, aims to widen participation for A-level students considering a medical career by offering them a one-year placement.It won the Diversity and Equality Award, sponsored by Channel 4 TV, in the innovation and progress section as part of The Guardian Public Services Award.

Representatives from Newham University Hospital NHS Trust were presented with the award at a ceremony at Old Billingsgate.

Broadcaster Jeremy Vine, who hosted the event, said: “Newham’s Doc Route Scheme has been running since 2002 and was praised by the judges for providing training opportunities for A-Level students who may not achieve the grades for entry to medical school due to their backgrounds. So far, two students have gone on to become doctors.”

David Brindle, The Guardian’s Public Services Editor, said: “Its been a tough year for all public services and the fact that Newham’s Doc Route Scheme no longer receives funding is extremely telling.”

“The scheme was praised by the judges for its commitment to reducing social inequalities in medicine since entry from socially deprived backgrounds has traditionally been low.

“They thought it was an innovative scheme that gives back to the community and could be replicated across the UK.”

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Graeme Jolly, trust director of workforce and governance, said: “We’ve known for some time just how groundbreaking and exciting our Newham Doc Scheme is and it’s a testament to the hard work of Sandra Brighton, the learning and development team and a whole team of clinical and non-clinical colleagues who work together to make this scheme a success each year.”