The Grantham Practice – Lambeth Portuguese Partnership project

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

The Lambeth Food Co- op

We are very excited and privileged to be involved in this fantastic local project, bringing green fingers to the surgery grounds.

We now have 8 planters stationed next to the surgery which we are growing vegetables in. All patients are welcome to get involved.

There will be a weekly gardening session every Wednesday from 10.00am for 2 hours. No experience needed as there will be support on hand. Get to know your neighbours, and keep your vegetables once they are ready to eat!

If you’re interested in joining, please either ask at the front desk, contact Jonathan our Practice Manager or just pop along on Wednesday to find out more.

You can read about the impact of the scheme in a guardian article which Dr Sharma contributed to at this link: Guardian Article on the Lambeth Food Co-op

If you want to read more about how being green fingered might improve your health, please see this excellent summary by the Kings Fund: Kings fund summary

Breaking down Barriers to Health – Our Portuguese Project

IMG_0771Building on his interests in international medicine, Dr Sharma invited a GP – Dr Cristiano Figueiredo – from Portugal to the Grantham Practice in April 2015 to observe how doctors work in the community here.

Dr Figueiredo helped us set up an education day at the local Portuguese Community Speaking Centre. This now runs 6 weekly and covers topics from depression to diabetes. It has been fantastically received both by the community and also by gaining support from NHS Lambeth. This has developed into a much wider project now, where with a team of Portuguese doctors and nurses we have translated health materials, provided welcome packs and set up workshops for isolated and vulnerable groups.

The plan is to learn from this project and widen it to other groups of patients that experience inequality in healthcare due to linguistic and cultural barriers. Meanwhile Dr Cristiano has taken the idea back to Lisbon and is now supporting the Bangladeshi community in a similar way! This global health exchange has already started to be recognised in the Portuguese national press and by the World organisation of Family Medicine.

The Stockwell Methodist Women’s Group Health Education Sessions

The Grantham doctors were privileged to be invited to the woman’s group at the Stockwell Methodist Church for an evening in Autumn 2015. For this meeting we were asked to discuss cancers that affect females. In particulr focussing on what did they mean for a person, how to watch out for them, and how to reduce the risk of getting them. The evening was hugely enjoyed and received by everyone, and we were invited back to do further talks. As a result , this led to us providing sessions on high blood pressure and diabetes as well.
Since that time, this has now become a regular event in the Grantham calender and we hope to join up with the Clapham and Vauxhall branches of the church as well to reach an even larger congregation. We have asked the women to drag their men along as well!

KNUST-Grantham Health Partnership: Our twinning project with a family medicine clinic in Ghana

We are excited to announce that after months of planning we will be involved in an exciting and truly innovative project!

We are twinning with a family medicine clinic that is being developed by Dr Kwame Ayisi-Boateng at KNUST (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology). The University runs a medical teaching hospital in Kumasi – the second largest city in Ghana.

Family medicine is in its infancy in Ghana with only 32 fully qualified GPs for a population of 26 million people (compared to 35,000 GPs for 60 million in the UK!) Not only do we hope to help support Dr Boateng and KNUST in their vision but along the way learn more about our own patients from Ghana and the wider West African region and how we can tailor our health advice to best help them.

One of our first themes will be the development of tailored diabetes education programs that take into account differences in lifestyle, diet and beliefs. As part of this we have building links with Kings College London and are proud to be on the steering group for their research into this:Click here

However the twinning project can be so much more and we want the whole practice to be involved including our patients. If you have skills that you think can help (e.g. infrastructure support, IT development, education) and would like to get involved then please get in touch with Dr Vikesh Sharma

Portuguese Doctor Exchange

Breaking down barriers to Health

Building on his interests in international medicine, Dr Sharma invited a GP – Dr Cristiano Figueiredo – from Portugal to the Grantham Practice in April 2015 to observe how doctors work in the community here.

Not only did he take valuable lessons back to Lisbon, but he also helped us set up an education day at the local Portuguese Community Speaking Centre. From this has developed an exciting project that Dr Sharma now leads with NHS Lambeth looking at how we can better reach people in the community who need healthcare but due to challenges such as language or isolation are unable to get it. Initially focusing on the Portuguese community it is hoped that what we learn will be then applied to other groups within Lambeth. <\p>

Thelma Aduja

IMG_8215editThelma is one of our newest reception staff. You’ll see her behind the front desk, always ready to help