The Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Health Forum
The BME Health Forum is a unique and well-established partnership between voluntary and community organisations, healthcare providers, commissioners, and local authorities. It improves the quality of health and social care services for patients from deprived backgrounds living primarily in Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham.
The BME Health Forum empowers marginalised patients and communities to engage and influence local health care provision. It provides a way for health professionals, and commissioners to listen to the health needs of marginalised patients and make improvements to health services.
The BME Health Forum was first established in 2002 when it was located within Westminster Primary Care Trust. In 2011, after changes in legislation with regard to Primary Care Trusts, the BME Health Forum became an independent body. It was incorporated into a limited company in 2012 and was registered with the Charity Commission in 2013.
BME Health Forum Aims
BME Health Forum Objectives
The BME Health Forum is governed by 12 trustees including 6 trustees who are nominated by local BME groups. Current trustees are:
Chair: Kaveh Kalantari, The Iranian Association
Treasurer: David Truswell, Independent Advisor on Dementia support & services for BME
Trustee: Brian Colman, Independent equalities expert
Trustee: Filsan Ali, Midaye Somali Development Network
Trustee: Cllr Judith Blakeman, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea
Trustee: Alison Devlin, Independent Equalities & Diversity Expert
Trustee: Meerat Kaur, Associate Programme Lead for Patient and Public Involvement at NIHR CLAHRC for Northwest London
Trustee: Marie Tameze, French African Welfare Association (FAWA)
Trustee: Gladys Sheriff, Women's Association for African Networking and Development (WAND) UK
Trustee: Eddie Chan, Chinese Welfare Trust
Trustee: Halaleh Taheri, Middle Eastern Women & Society Organisation (MEWSO)
Trustee: Aziz Toki, Central London Youth Development Trust (CLYD)
The BME Health Forum is supported by an advisory group consisting of the 12 trustees as well as another of 6 members from the local NHS, the local authorities and the voluntary and community sector. The advisory group meet quarterly. Trustees also meet quarterly in a separate meeting.
The organisations represented on the advisory group are:
Central London CCG
Hammesmith & Fulham CCG
West London CCG
Kensington & Chelsea Social Council
Kings College London
The funding for the BME Health Forum is as follows:
Core Activities & Projects
The BME Health Forum’s core activities are:
The BME Health Forum’s current projects are:
Multilingual Mental Wellbeing Project
This project supports people from BME communities who are going through an emotionally difficult period in their lives but who are not mental health service users.
The BME Health Forum has trained bilingual volunteers from the 4 community organisations to offer mental wellbeing sessions (including listening in a non-judgmental way, offering information, support and advocacy and making appropriate referrals). Volunteers are managed by their organisations and offered independent supervision also. Sessions are offered in 9 different languages as well as English.
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