The Grantham is proud to be a part of a fast evolving and innovative project that looks at how we as a GP in the community can better work with other Lambeth based organisations (housing, education, charities, social) to address inequalities of health in the population. This started in 2013 when we invited over a Portuguese GP from Lisbon – Dr Cristiano Figueiredo – to help us run focus groups and surveys at the Portuguese Speaking Community Centre.
Improving the Health of Lambeth
We wanted to understand better the frustrations and barriers to good health care that come about due to differences in language and culture. This was the start of an adventure that continues today and has us partnering with a wide variety of passionate community members working together to improve the health of the Lambeth population… (read more)
The Portuguese Community Project came out of observational and emerging evidence that Portuguese speaking patients in Lambeth suffered from worse outcomes in Diabetes, Blood pressure, A&E attendances and disjointed care.
Engaging the Community to Guide us
The key to this project was to build a community led intervention program. To do this we needed to build bridges with the local Portuguese speaking community, gain trust, be relevant and also be visible within it.
We ran an ‘NHS’ day in the community, in Portuguese, led by a Portuguese clinician who worked in the Portuguese health system – one that the audience would have grown up in and be used to. The insights this revealed and the trust we gained from this helped us come up with a variety of ideas in ways we could improve patient health.
What we started to do to help
With the support of the NHS Lambeth Local Care Network (a forum of various Lambeth based health and social organisations) we quickly gathered expertise and perspectives that enriched our program and we started to develop interventions that included:
• A welcome pack to the NHS in Portuguese explaining how to register, community services, routine health calls and more…
• Availability of patient education leaflets in Portuguese at all GP surgeries in Lambeth
• Health Education videos to be shown on social media and in GP surgeries starting with one that explains how to carry out the home kit for bowel cancer screening
• Breakfast club in a Portuguese café on South Lambeth Road providing healthy food and homework support for Children from Wyvill School.
• Peer support group for women suffering from depression with added support for those suffering domestic violence.
Getting more Partners involved
In December 2016, with the support of the Health Foundry, we ran an event attended by various community members, organisations, the now Deputy Lambeth Mayor (Cllr Guilherme Rosa) and the Portuguese Consulate (Joana Gaspar) to start to develop the idea around formalising this exciting new network which was being formed of passionate individuals and organisations that wanted to make a difference.
With a little help with an innovative design company, a common vision started to form.
Read how Unboxed partnered with The Grantham Practice
Looking to the Future
Fast forward to May 2017 and we now have multiple agencies covering education, charities, health and social care with experience of working together and committed to developing this.
The Grantham is proud to be a lead partner this…
We are all clear now that although what drove this was the inequalities in the Portuguese Community, actually our approach, what we have learned, and the type of projects we are doing could help so many different people suffering from inequalities.
If you are based in Lambeth and would like to get involved please get in touch.
Watch this space!
The Grantham Practice Team