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Health professionals provided targeted advice for black and minority ethnic communities at an education event in Gloucester.

More than 170 people headed to the Friendship Café, at the Chequers Bridge Centre in Tredworth, on Wednesday 30 November for presentations and information to help maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The diverse cultural mix kept five separate translators busy as a day of presentations was translated for people from India and Eastern Europe, China and Pakistan, and for speakers of Arabic and Bengali.

The audience was given information about conditions and health services including support available for people with cancer from Macmillan Next Steps, Prostate Cancer UK and Maggie’s Cancer Support, as well as information about diabetes, blood pressure, cardiac rehabilitation, podiatry and eye disorders.

Ingrid Barker, chair of Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust which organised the day, said: “I am so proud of the work our Community Partnerships Team is doing to help ensure minority ethnic groups are aware of the services available to them, and to tackle health inequalities in our communities.

“The feedback we received from the day was outstanding and this is something we plan to build on as services continue to develop.”

People from South Asian communities are up to six times more likely to have have type 2 diabetes than the general population. Those who do develop diabetes are up to three times more likely to also develop heart disease.

Gail Pasquall, head of the Trust’s diabetes team, said: “The community health day presented clinicians with a fantastic opportunity to develop partnerships with these communities which can have a long-lasting impact on health.

“For example, our service is looking at the idea of diabetes champions, so that members of different communities can have a point of contact for support and signposting.

“We might also look at having a permanent presence at the Friendship Café. There are a lot of positives to take from this event.”

Feedback from the day from attendees included praise for the range and clarity of information provided, and requests for further events in the future.

Haroon Kadodia, who works in partnership with the Trust to co-ordinate these events, said: “One of the greatest assets of partnership working is the pooling of resources, and the sharing of experience and expertise, in order to reach people who, for various reasons, can find themselves excluded or marginalised from the wider community in which they live.

“The success of this  event – and others over the past two years – is a clear demonstration of Gloucestershire Care Services’ commitment to working with partners such as Gloucestershire County Council to enable local people to build better, healthier and more knowledgeable communities, and work effectively within a multi-racial society.”

If you would like an event like this in your local community, please contact Rachel Merchant at Rachel.merchant@glos-care.nhs.uk or call 0300 421 8265.


26 January 2017