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Public Health Hero award for Community Safety Practitioner


A Community Safety Practitioner at Oxford University Hospitals has been named as a 'Public Health Hero' for her contribution to violence prevention and making communities in the Thames Valley safer places to live.

Carrie Hartwell received the honour, awarded by the UK Public Health Register (UKPHR), for "the passion and knowledge" she showed while on a secondment with the Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit (VRU).

Normally based at the Emergency Department (ED) at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, Carrie worked alongside individuals from a range of organisations in her temporary role as Violence Reduction Health Intelligence Lead.

In this role, which she held between December 2019 and July 2020, Carrie helped the VRU with its public health approach to tackling violence.

By using and sharing anonymised data sets, such as ED attendances resulting from assaults, she was able to raise local health issues with the police and local Community Safety Partnerships.

This is part of a multi-agency approach involving local authorities, health, education, policing, national probation, public health, adult and children safeguarding, and others. All organisations are working together to understand the root causes of serious violence, the aim to identify violence-related problems and prevent further harm to people in the community.

Carrie said: "I am delighted to be awarded Public Health Hero status. Through my role as a Community Safety Practitioner at OUH and while seconded in to the Violence Reduction Unit, I have been able to help drive a health-focused approach to tackling violence.

"The work I have been involved in demonstrates how important it is to share information between those working in community safety and health. By doing this, we can support the care system, reduce inequalities, and most importantly reduce the numbers of people impacted by violence across Oxfordshire.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the VRU, and I’d like to thank the team that nominated me and recognised my contributions to help protect and promote the health and wellbeing of people and communities.

"I would also like to thank Rob Way, my line manager and Emergency Department Consultant Nurse, who has provided endless support, encouragement, and autonomy.”

Rob Way said: "I was very pleased to hear from Thames Valley VRU that Carrie Hartwell’s secondment from OUH was so successful in promoting a public health response to serious violence.

"Violence reduction is central to Carrie’s role as the Community Safety Practitioner in the Emergency Department and I was delighted to support the nomination jointly put forward by Thames Valley VRU and OUH. Congratulations to Carrie for the award she received as a Public Health Hero."

Detective Chief Inspector Lewis Mayling, Data Lead for the Thames Valley VRU, said: "Carrie has been an invaluable source of expertise over the last few years, and it was fantastic to see her efforts recognised by this UKPHR award.

"To reduce serious violence we need to understand it better, and the work of Carrie and her colleagues across Oxford University Hospitals will continue to ensure we have the best information possible to help reduce the numbers of people impacted by violence."