A private hospital has joined the fight against modern day slavery and human trafficking by training staff in how to spot potential victims.
All 145 staff and 100 consultants at Spire Fylde Coast Hospital in Blackpool are receiving training in how to look out for potential victims of trafficking, in a bid to tackle the exploitation of vulnerable people.
READ MORE: All the latest health news from across the Fylde coast
It comes after a 36 per cent rise in the number of potential trafficking and modern slavery victims reported to authorities across the UK in a year.
National Crime Agency figures show last year 6,993 potential victims were referred into the government system, up from 5,142 in 2017 and 3,804 in 2016.
Modern slavery is a crime encompassing slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour, and human trafficking.
Mike Sarson, director of clinical services at Spire Fylde Coast Hospital said the goal is to raise awareness across the hospital and support staff to raise the alarm if they are concerned about someone.
He said: “Modern Slavery is more common than you expect and we keep hearing about more and more cases nationally, so it important for us to be on the alert.
“We have a diverse population in this area, and this is something that affects people from all over the world.”
The training includes frontline staff looking out for the welfare of patients, the hospital administration and finance team when they are dealing with patients and relatives over the phone or in person, and procurement staff dealing with suppliers.