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Black Asian and Minority Ethnic groups – cancer prevention and awareness event

At times we identify that we need to undertake some additional work in communities based on data. This was the case when a review of national and local data told us that the uptake of screening among the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups in Gloucestershire.

Consequently we contacted one of our local partners, The Friendship Cafe and asked them to help us shape an engagement and health promotion programme with the BME community in Gloucester City.  They suggested a prevention and awareness event should be arranged and this was designed in partnership with them.

The event was well attended and supported by local charities and the voluntary and community sector.  We arranged for Interpreters to attend the event and support people from the local community – on the recommendation of The Friendship Café we provide interpreters for Polish, Arabic, Urdu/Gujerati, Chinese and Sylhetti speakers, to ensure that all attendees were able to participate.

The event was promoted through local community groups and media, including Gloucester FM radio, an urban music community radio station.

Background to project

A review of national and local data was undertaken to understand the prevalence and screening uptake for BAME population

The aims were:

  • To help BAME to recognise early signs and symptoms of some common cancers
  • To explain what happens when they see a GP about signs and symptoms
  • To explain what happens and understand the importance of attending diagnostic, specialist and screening appointments
  • To learn about healthy nutrition for prevention of cancer and post diagnosis
  • To signpost to available support services in Gloucestershire for patients with concerns about cancer and questions about screening

Engagement

An engagement event was planned and advertised on local/ regional radio and through Friendship Café BAME groups.

Clinicians from local NHS provider organisations presented on prevention of Breast, Head & Neck, Gynaecological and Lung Cancers. A Dietitian talked about importance of good nutrition and a patient story supported this event – all supported by local interpreters.

There were information stalls supported by

  • Macmillan & CRUK Information booklets
  • Healthy Lifestyle Service
  • Bowel & Cervical Screening
  • Maggies
  • Charlies
  • Artlift
  • Gloucestershire Carers

98 delegates from 12 different ethnic groups attended the event.

Delegates were provided with an information pack and a healthy lunch which was designed between a dietitian and chef.

Lunch included a fusion of healthy foods from each of the ethnic communities in attendance.

 

Learning and Outcomes

Delegates were asked what changes they would like to make as a result of the session. Many commented on the desire to eat more healthily, do more exercise and check more regularly. One delegate commented on feeling “empowered” and another ”informed”. A sample of feedback is below:

  • The sessions were very educational and beneficial to personal health management. It has I hope empowered me to approach health professionals on my and family’s behalf to gain good health results and services for in the future.
  • I am very much informed now of the effects and diagnosis and treatment of all types of cancer
  • The real need to be persistent and take a list of symptoms. Checking breasts more often; eating more fish, less red meat. Overall today was very worthwhile and informative with a good mix of speakers and stalls
  • Make an informed approach when seeing my GP regarding any symptoms; attend any screening appointments; make my family and friends aware of cancer, symptoms and treatment etc
  • Regular check- ups when appropriate; healthier diet; lose more weight
  • Eat healthy and feed the family as well
  • I would like to gain the strength to change my diet and start doing exercise
  • I will pay more attention to what my family and friends complain about even minor ailments
  • Diet for definite of changing and treatment is important
  • Be an advocate to others in my community. Do some more exercise.
  • To look/prepare a healthier diet for the family. To encourage a more active lifestyle for the family – exercise, more outdoors etc

Learning for NHS Gloucestershire CCG includes

  • Allowing more time for live interpretation during the question and answer sessions
  • Widen the invitation to BAME residents outside of Gloucester City
  • Adding food labels to refreshments explaining the ingredients
  • Widen the number of volunteers to help run the events

Next steps

Monitoring of data will continue with a further engagement opportunities being considered to reach an even wider group of BAME Gloucestershire residents. Any future events will also be supported by volunteers from Inclusion Gloucestershire to assist NHS Gloucestershire CCG staff with the running of the event.

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