The Butabika East London Link scooped the inaugural International Health Partnership Award at the HSJ Awards in recognition of the Trusts work in Uganda. The awards were held on 22nd November 2017 and are the largest celebration of health excellence in UK, highlighting the most innovative and successful people and projects in the sector.

The Butabika-East London Link is a multi-disciplinary, institution-to-institution collaboration between East London NHS Foundation Trust and Butabika National Referral Hospital, Uganda. Formally operating since 2005, the partnership aims to better mental health in the UK and Uganda through mutual learning and collaboration.

The collaboration has been instrumental transforming mental health practices in Uganda with a focus on training and development, service user involvement and advocacy. The Link has delivered numerous projects over the past fourteen years, most notably introducing the first Child and Adolescent Training Programme in East Africa. Previously, children were treated in adult services with medication for adult psychiatric conditions, the programme introduced psychological and family treatments and in 2010 the Butabika Children’s Ward opened with two child psychiatrists, a ward manager and PCO who were trained in the UK.

Chief Executive of ELFT Dr Navina Evans said, 
 ‘This award is a tribute to the passionate and dedicated staff that have been involved with the Link over the past decade. Their work has significant impact on individuals and families in Uganda and they have worked tirelessly, giving up their free time supporting Ugandan colleagues in their learning. They have also brought many lessons back to ELFT to improve how we do things'

Chair of the Butabika-East London Link, Dr Nick Bass said “A huge thank you and well done to all our colleagues and friends and volunteers (no one has made anyone take part in this – everyone chooses to give of themselves), to our employers who were enlightened enough to see the worth of supporting this novel and potentially risky new idea, to our colleagues in other partnerships (you all know how immensely good the work we all collaborate on is and this is surely not about competing with each other), to our friends and family who endure us doing this work (and sometimes also directly support it too) but above all to our partners in Uganda and beyond. This is not just for the people of Uganda but also for the people of the UK. But even more than people working across continents for the mutual good of our communities something that stands out in this partnership is that we are all working WITH each other. And everyone learns from everyone. This is not just about demonstrating numbers. This is about friendship and family. This is about heart and soul. This is about spirit.”