A DOCTOR who has spent years developing a specialist service for a hard-to-reach group of patients has received a double honour.
Dr Safia Jabeen was named the Doctor of the Year at the Yorkshire Evening Post Best of Health Awards 2014.
The associate specialist doctor at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, has set up a clinic in Dewsbury to meet the sexual health needs of Muslim women, a project which has taken years to build up.
Her work was also recognised as she was given the Overall Judges’ Award at the awards, sponsored by Sovereign Health Care for the third year.
Dr Jabeen set up the female-only Chandni Clinic in Dewsbury to provide sexual health advice to Muslim women, aiming to tackle cultural and communication barriers.
The judging panel, which was made up of Nicola Furbisher, managing editor of the Yorkshire Evening Post, patients’ representative and retired director of nursing in Leeds Betty Smithson, Tanya Matilainen, chief executive of patient watchdog Healthwatch Leeds and Russ Piper, chief executive of Sovereign Health Care, chose her because she has made an outstanding and inspiring contribution in the field of health.
They said she worked in an area with many challenges, not least because those in need of her services may find it difficult to come forward and access them.
Awards presenter Clare Frisby said: “She has made a real difference to the lives of women by developing a specialist sexual health service which precisely meets their specific needs by understanding the cultural issues involved and how to overcome them, with even the name of the service being carefully chosen so as not to alienate anyone.
“The judging panel were incredibly impressed by her dedication and commitment, as well as the fact that this has been recognised locally and nationally and is very much valued by service users.”
Dr Jabeen said: “I feel very honoured and humbled to be given the Doctor of the Year award amd especially for the Judges’ Award.
“It’s really satisfying that the patients are happy with the service we are providing.
“I’ve got a really good team which works hard to understand the cultural difficulties – I am really thankful for my team.”
The winners in all 11 categories were announced at the glitzy lunch at the Leeds City Hilton.
Nicola Furbisher, managing editor of the YEP, told the audience: “Everyone nominated has done something special and is someone who goes above and beyond what is expected of them.
“That is something to be proud of and it is something the Yorkshire Evening Post is proud to recognise.”