Local ‘champions’ will help increase screening for diabetes and cardiovascular disease
A specialist practitioner has been working to improve diabetes and cardiovascular disease care for patients from Bolton’s South Asian populations by training ‘champions’ from those communities.
Despite having a significantly higher prevalence of diabetes, this population was far less likely to visit their GP, follow medication regimes or take up retinal or foot screening opportunities. There was also a high level of unplanned hospital admissions.
Lynne, who works at Mandalay Medical Centre, has been addressing this engagement gap through initiatives such as training ‘champions’ to spread health messages and engage their community.
She says: ‘We know that the present health screening initiatives in Bolton are not reaching this community and we need to find a different approach to improve outcomes.
‘What better than to train people from this community to help at-risk people in their local area because they will have a better understanding of the family dynamics, culture and food choices?
‘If we can show we are listening to the communities’ issues, and if try to understand them better and take a new approach, then their outcomes over time should start to improve.’
Diabetes UK and Bolton NHS Foundation Trust have invested £50,000 to develop the champion training programme.
Lynne is a finalist in the Innovations in your Specialty category of the RCNi Nurse Awards 2016, the profession’s top accolade for nursing excellence.
The award, sponsored by LV Liverpool Victoria, recognises nurses who have made an outstanding contribution to patient care or who have initiated projects that have a made a difference to patients’ lives.
Lynne says: ‘Nursing has never been ‘just a job’ – I have always wanted to make a difference. I feel proud to have achieved support and recognition by being shortlisted for an RCNi Nurse Award for trying to do just that.
‘My project has been supported not only by my black and minority ethnic (BME) colleagues but also by my BME patients. This gives me the incentive to drive through obstacles and difficulties and many long hours of work to get to where we are today; it offers the chance to improve health outcomes in a traditionally hard-to-reach population group.
‘I know there are obstacles still to be faced, but with growing support I eagerly anticipate the first trained champions being released to begin their work in the community.’
About the sponsor
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