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» H&F, GP Access Over the Course of the Pandemic (Healthwatch Survey)

As we know, there was a requirement to put social distancing in place in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and GP surgeries across the country were urged to undertake consultations with those exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 remotely. With this in mind, we are looking to gain insight into your experience and get your views on the impact of accessing health and social care services remotely. That includes digitally or by telephone, focusing on access to GP services.

» Voice4Change England Grants Available up to £10K

Voice4Change England is pleased to announce a grants programme. This is for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community groups and organisations, working to deliver COVID-19 services in England. The grants programme is designed to help tackle the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on BAME communities.

» Fighting Flu Together campaign resources - NHS North Kensington

The flu season has begun and so has our NHS North Kensington #FightingFluTogether campaign. NHS North Kensington have put together a number of resources to help spread the word in the community: Briefing pack, Key message document, Q&A and translations of the booklets ‘Who should have the flu vaccine and why’ and ‘Protecting your child against flu’ in 13 languages including Arabic, Bengali, French, Urdu, Spanish and many more.

» NHS Test & Trace info videos in different languages

Westminster city council has published information videos on their Youtube channel on NHS Test & Trace. They have versions of this video in Arabic, Bengali, Farsi, Kurdish Sorani, Portuguese, Somali and Tigrinya. The video explains the steps you should take if you do have symptoms.

» NEW PROJECT - Dementia Awareness for BME communities

The BME Health Forum has started a new project in Dementia awareness for BME communities. Thanks to funding from the Race Equality Foundation, our trustee David Truswell has developed a webinar which can be delivered online either directly to clients or to staff and volunteers, who can then deliver it themselves to clients (in a different language if appropriate).

» Coronavirus videos with latest advice - in different languages

Doctors of the World, in partnership with the Mayor of London, has produced motion graphic videos with key COVID-19 information for migrants living in the UK, including information on testing and wearing face masks. The videos are available in 11 priority community languages including Bengali, Traditional Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese.

» COVID-19 Translated Resources to support those with Dementia, their Carers, and families

Race Equality Foundation are pulling together a resource of translated materials on guidance and support to carers and families of those with Dementia on coronavirus The resources are available in a number of languages and can be accessed on their website.

» Tips and Wellbeing advice in 27 languages

Doctors of the World, in partnership with Thrive LDN, has produced wellbeing guidance to support migrant communities during COVID-19.titled “Six ways to improve your wellbeing”. Taking care of yourself is really important, especially in these challenging times. Follow these six simple steps to improve your mental health and wellbeing, and remember, you’re not alone – we’re all in this together. The guidance is available in 27 languages.

» Booklets on "Talking to your Children about Violent Incidents"

Witnessing, hearing or being involved in any violent or traumatic events can leave people in a state of confusion and fear. Children and young people, in particular, find it difficult to make sense of such experiences. The “Talking to your Children about Violent Incidents” booklet provides handy tips for parents, carers and other adults on how to initiate and sustain that conversation and support, along with details of some helpful services. (Booklet also available in Arabic, Somali, Bengali (Sylheti) and Kurdish (Sorani) languages.

» Information on Test and Trace for BME communities

The BME Health Forum has been funded by the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster City Council to run a project providing information to BME communities about the NHS Test and Trace service. We are working with 11 partners to reach 950 households where people are not fluent English speakers and may find it difficult to access information about the NHS Test and Trace service.

» Hereditary: A short documentary

Curious about the absence of black and minority ethnic voices on the theme of hereditary conditions, Yemisi Bokinni, a medical doctor by background with a degree in human genetics embarked on a year-long journey to find individuals and explore the dynamics of living with a hereditary condition from this perspective.

» Latest publication from Healthwatch CWL - COVID-19 for parents of children with SEND

Healthwatch Central West London is pleased to share the first report document from their Small Grant recipient, Make it Happen. In the document they detail the experiences gathered through Make it Happen’s focus group with parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Westminster.

» Grant support available to families on lower incomes raising disabled children in England

Families with disabled children on lower incomes are being urged to apply for grants for essential items to make life easier during the ongoing crisis. The grants can be used to buy computers and play equipment as well as household items such as cookers and fridges.

» COVID-19 communication survey

Please complete this five minute survey about your experience of using the NHS during the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic and how well you think the NHS has communicated information to you. This will help them learn from your experiences about what they are doing well and where they can improve communication.

» MEWSo - Latest workshops and Activities PLUS 10th Anniversary video!

Middle Eastern Women and Society organisation (MEWSo) are currently running new Arabic Zumba (dance moves to Arabic music) classes on Wednesdays and also LGBTQ+ workshops every Tuesday. You can also currently view MEWSo's 10th Anniversary event online on youtube.

» Addressing rumours about Covid-19 and hospital care for black, Asian and minority ethnic communities

Imperial College NHS Foundation Trust created a video in response to feedback from the BME Health Forum and members of local black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, where we learnt there is a strong sense of fear about coming to hospital and myths about hospital care for Covid-19 patients. The video was created to help dispel these rumours.

» 'Safe and high quality care - in a Covid-19 world' a short video from Imperial College Healthcare Trust

Imperial College Healthcare Trust continue to provide urgent and emergency care for all conditions - not only Covid-19. We are beginning to re-open our services, including routine elective procedures and surgery. In a short video presentation you can see important information about how they are keeping patients safe during the pandemic.

» Covid self isolation period extension 7 to 10 days

The Chief Medical Officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have updated the self-isolation advice for anyone who has symptoms of, or confirmed COVID-19. Previously, the advice was to stay at home for 7 days if you have a positive result or have symptoms of the virus. This has now been updated to 10 days.

» List of current Funding Opportunities

Please see RBKC and Westminster City Council's recently disseminated list of funding opportunities for the Voluntary and Community Sector.

» Perspectives from the BAME community on dementia and music

In the recent blog entry from Music For Dementia is an article by Mohammed Akhlak Rauf, Founder & Director of Meri Yaadain CiC, a community interest company that supports BAME people living with dementia in addition to carers looking after a relative or friend living with dementia. Mohammed has over 20 years of experience working with BAME communities with regards to engagement, information, education and tackling inequalities. In the following article he talks about the implications for the BAME dementia community and considers how we ensure service provision responds effectively.

» COVID-19 and minority ethnic populations: new report

The South Asian Health Foundation (SAHF) partnered with the Centre for BME Health to produce the report on COVID-19 in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic populations published last week.They have developed new recommendations to protect BAME communities from the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 that have been issued to help “close the gap” in health inequality.

» Working with NHS Imperial Healthcare Trust to improve services and trust for BME communities

In a short video presentation Nafsika Thalassis, Director of the BME Health Forum speaks about our work with NHS Imperial Healthcare Trust in responding to BME communities' concerns during the pandemic.

» Covid-19 testing reassurance for Asylum seekers and Refugees

Overseas visitors to England, including anyone living in the UK without permission, will not be charged for: testing for coronavirus (even if the test shows you do not have coronavirus); treatment for coronavirus. No immigration checks are needed if you only have testing or treatment for coronavirus.

» Updated COVID-19 guidance (applicable from 4th July)

The Government has announced further easing of lockdown restrictions in its staying alert and safe guidance which explains the measures that will help us to stay safe and alert in a way that continues to protect our communities and the NHS. From Saturday 4th July, many more services and spaces will start to reopen safely in a phased way. To find out how lockdown is easing across the City, you can visit the Westminster reopens webpage.

» BAME communities’ responses to COVID-19, primary care and community wellbeing

Healthwatch Central West London is sharing results from their recent research, which highlights the health and wellbeing concerns of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities in Central West London: Our 2019 engagement: Insights from BAME Communities in CWL; The latest results from our ongoing COVID-19 engagement (COVID-19: Your Experience Matters), highlighting the responses from BAME individuals in Central West London; and our plans for continuing to engage with BAME communities over the coming months.

» NHS Test & Trace resources and Zoom training sessions

Useful resources available clarifying the NHS Test and Trace process for the community. Also, The Community Engagement Team from the Council are offering virtual Zoom sessions on COVID-19 Processes for the staff, volunteers, members and service users of charities, groups and organisations in the Westminster voluntary, community and faith sector. These 1-hour outreach sessions will focus on COVID-19 impact and symptoms, instructions on booking and getting a test, NHS Test & Trace service and more.

» Imperial College Healthcare: Short video 'Safe and high quality care - in a Covid-19 world'

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust has seen a significant reduction in ‘non-Covid-19’ urgent and emergency attendances. In response to feedback, especially from our BAME communities – of concerns about the safety of our hospitals in light of Covid-19. We’ve put together a short video to highlight the developments and changes we’ve made across our hospitals to ensure safe and high quality care for everyone.

» SURVEY: Impact of Covid–19 on people living with obesity.

Following on from ongoing work looking at the changing impact that COVID-19 is having on the way people live, Public Health England is interested in the impact of Covid–19 on people living with obesity. They are working with Dr Adrian Brown who is a Research Fellow and Specialist Dietitian at University College London to explore perceptions, attitudes and actions of people living with obesity to the COVID-19 outbreak.

» FEATURE: Al-Hasaniya's projects and services continuing throughout COVID-19

For over 35 years, Al Hasaniya Moroccan Women's Centre has been supporting Arabic speaking families and those from an Arabic background in the local community. Since the Covid-19 government imposed lock-down we have kept our services running to serve All of our vulnerable clients. We have made changes in the way we work to keep everyone safe by working remotely.

» FEATURE: WAND UK's Activities During the COVID-19 Pandemic Period

At the beginning of March, WAND UK started thinking about how to adjust and cope with the new situation brought on by the Coronavirus. We understand the impact of self-isolation on mental health and general wellbeing. To help people maintain their own wellbeing, WAND UK started offering their yoga and dance classes online, mental health support and befriending.over the phone and also food deliveries.

» A Parents Guide to Black Lives Matter

Resources, Activities, and Tips for Families to empower children to work towards racial equality. This resource covers topics such as: What is the Black Lives Matter Movement; How do I open a conversation with children on race and racism?; How do I explain White Privilege?

» Supplementary COVID-19 resources from Westminster City Council

Resources include updated official Government advice and Public Health guidance in 60 languages from Doctors of the World UK, COVID-19 Advice for Parents’ poster, and Factual and easy-to-understand COVID-19 Infographics also available in 35 languages.

» Important COVID-19 info & resources for families, children and overseas visitors/ immigrants

Important COVID-19 info & resources for families, children and overseas visitors/ immigrants from Westminster City Council around bereavement support and Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and treatment for migrant patients.

» FEATURE: CLYD’s Activities During the COVID-19 Pandemic Period

Mr Abdul Aziz Toki, Director of Central London Youth Development talks about their new initiative to support the mental and emotional well-being of disadvantaged BME children (aged between 4-16 years old) in North Westminster during COVID-19. This includes delivering food packs, wellbeing acitivity packs for different ages and a 12 weeks Fun and Learn programme.

» Launch of New Alliance of BAME Mental Health Therapists and Campaigners in Response to COVID-19

BAMEStream is a collective of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) practitioners, therapists, policy experts, activists and academics who specialise in the areas of mental health and therapy. Reported statistics show that BAME communities are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 crisis; and as such, the group’s core purpose is to raise awareness and undertake impactful actions to address the urgent mental health and wellbeing needs of the UK’s BAME communities.

» Videos about using the NHS in different languages

To help encourage communities to use the NHS if they need to, the BME Health Forum, Imperial College medical students and West London CCG have co-produced videos about using the NHS during the pandemic in Arabic, Farsi, Kurdish, Sylheti, and Somali. We hope to soon have them also available in Spanish and Portuguese.

» Mosaic Community Trust's COVID-19 Response Project - We're Here For You

Lena Choudary-Salter CEO of Mosaic Community Trust talks about their COVID-19 Response project that has come about from the need of their service users and clients to get support during the coronavirus pandemic to address their worries and fears and alsp pass on important COVID-19 related information.

» Public Health England Every Mind Matters campaign

Every Mind Matters is a digital resource to help people to look after their mental health and support others to do the same. At its heart is ‘Your Mind Plan, ’a digital tool that enables people to create their own action plan to help them take simple, practical steps to look after their mental wellbeing.

» MEWSo's success in offering services and support to their clients during COVID-19

Interview with the DIrector of Middle Eastern Women and Society Organisation(MEWSO), Halaleh Taheri where she talks about their success in continuing to support their clients and vulnerable local community via online video platforms, WhatsApp groups and phone.

» REPORT LAUNCH: Impact of COVID-19 on BAME community and voluntary organisations

The Ubele Initiative have just launched the report, Impact of COVID-19 on BAME community and voluntary organisations. It is based on two surveys they ran between 19 March and 4 April receiving 182 responses, of which 137 were from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) led organisations.

» Advice for Parents during Coronavirus

Whilst coronavirus is infectious to children it is rarely serious. If your child is unwell it is likely to be a non-coronavirus illness, rather than coronavirus itself - and whilst it is extremely important to follow Government advice to stay at home during this period, it can be confusing to know what to do when your child is unwell or injured.

» Advice documents on Domestic Abuse & Domestic Violence

FREE RAIL JOURNEYS -Train companies to offer free travel to those fleeing domestic abuse during coronavirus lockdown. SILENCE SHIELDS ABUSE - If you are have concerns about a friend, family member or a neighbour, please be their voice contact Solace Advice Line or the 24hr National Domestic Violence Helpline.

» COVID-19 Explained by GPs in different Asian languages

BBC Asian Network have produced videos of GPs explaining COVID-19 in the following Asian languages: Gujurati, Tamil, Sylheti,Hindi and Urdu.

» Emotional Wellbeing Project to continue via telephone support

In respect of government guidelines relating to the COVID-9 outbreak we are announcing that the BME Health Forum's Emotional Well-being project is continuing via telephone support and with the support of our partners, we hope to be able to continue support clients who don’t speak English in a number of community languages during this difficult time.

» Men's Health Forum: - Prostate Cancer awareness story

PAUL: 'SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO BE PUSHY'. Paul reckons his prostate cancer diagnosis began with an NHS health check his GP didn't want to give him.

» Chinese Health & Wellbeing Clinic and COVID 19 information for the Chinese Community

In the following video Eddie Chan, former Chair of the BME Health Forum introduces the Chinese Health & Wellbeing Clinic services in Central London followed by lead doctor Dr Kit Wu who gives important public health information about the COVID 19 virus to the Chinese Community.

» Westminster PDT ESFA contract

The PDT has been awarded an ESFA contract to manage the awarding of a high number (170 approx) of small grants to community groups in West and Central London. The grants can be between £5,000 and £20,000 each and they can be used for all sorts of employment work including the very early parts of a person's journey (motivation/engagement etc) right through to job entry and sustainment.

» Pregnant? There's an app for that

NHS Mum and baby maternity app launch

» Recruitment of BME Adopters

PACT are appealing for more people to consider adopting children of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) heritage

» Dementia survey/study

Help improve the care given to dementia patients by GPs - for family caregivers

» Flu Vaccine for over 65s

Public Health England has released some useful information about the flu vaccine for the over 65s

» The GLAD Study

Depression and anxiety are common but complex disorders whose research needs very large sample sizes. The Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression (GLAD) study will be the largest ever single study of anxiety and depression, and aims to recruit >40,000 individuals.

» Diabetes Project - food carbohydrate content

NHS Diabetes Transformation Team are producing a book and app to help people understand the carbohydrate content of their food. The book is specifically aimed at Arabic, South Asian, Caribbean and African communities.

» Are you a parent or carer in Kensington & Chelsea? Young Families and Urgent Care survey

Over the next week, staff and volunteers will be at the St Charles Urgent Care Centre, talking to parents and carers about their experiences of using the service. Have you seen your GP or used urgent care services in the last year? Help us understand how these services are working for you!

» Research - addressing inequalities in weight management among Black and Ethnic Minority communities

Abimbola Ojo is currently undertaking a doctorate in public health, at the School of Health and Social Care, Teesside University. The focus of the research is on addressing inequalities in weight management among Black and Ethnic Minority communities. The study involves one to one telephone interviews with members of the Black and Ethnic Minority community, to gain insight into their dietary patterns, and their awareness of, and views on existing healthy eating resources.

» Maternity Care in England and its Impact on Migrant Women

This study, released in September 2018 by Maternity Action, explores the experiences of women who faced charges for NHS maternity care. Most of the participants were socially and economically vulnerable but faced unrepayable debts for bills which they were sent from the NHS.

» Young Healthwatch Westminster

Healthwatch will be setting up a Young Healthwatch Westminster. This will be a group of young people who share their views and experiences of healthcare in the borough, and use this feedback to help shape the services they use. If you're between 14 - 25, use health or social care services in Westminster, and would like to have a say in how local healthcare services are run, please get in touch.

» Opportunity for Free Facilitated Coaching

Pilotlight is an award-winning charity that provides charities and social enterprises access to strategic business support to become bigger, better and more sustainable. The programme offers 10 months of facilitated coaching from four senior business mentors (‘Pilotlighters’), free of charge.

» Government proposals on children and young people's mental health

Ways for schools and colleges to support pupils' mental health are set out in a green paper, as well as plans for new mental health support teams.

» Invitation: BME Health Forum – NHS Choices Course Grant

Organisations that work with patients registered with Hammersmith & Fulham GP practices are invited to apply to deliver one or two 10 session courses benefiting a minimum of 10 clients per course whose level of English is at Entry Level 2. Each organisation will receive £790 for each course they deliver.

» SURVEY: Care Co-ordination Service (CCS) and Health Watch Survey

Primary care coordination services have changed in Westminster. Healthwatch and the Older Adults Group at the Advocacy Project want to hear your experiences of receiving support, so that we can check that the changes are improving people's lives.

» January issue of K&C Mind's Peer Support Network newsletter, #PeerTalk

#PeerTalk: K&C Mind’s Peer Support Network Newsletter - This issue includes:Happy new year; PeerFest 2015; Peer Support Fair; Steering Group; Peer Bank; Peer Support Directory; Marsh Award; Peer Support in the news; Dates for the diary...

» LSCB Newsletter for January 2016

The LSCB Newsletter for January 2016 is now available to download. Please note that the newsletter particularly highlights the Tri-Borough LADO role [Local Authority Designated Officer], whose purpose is to investigate any allegations of misconduct amongst staff who work with children and/or young people...

» MEWSO's January 2016 Newsletter

Middle Eastern Women & Society Organisation's January newsletter is now published. We have a new section called "your say" where we will feature our reader's opinions on issues such as domestic violence, emotional abuse, and women's rights...

» New Patient Participation Group Best Practice Guide!

Healthwatch Central West London have a new Patient Participation Group Best Practice Guide! Thinking about starting up a PPG, joining a group or getting more members for your PPG? Then have a read of this guide! It has top tips on recruiting patients, the roles and responsibilities of a PPG, and the support...

» Peer Support Network - New Monthly Newsletter (November Issue)

Kensington and Chelsea Mind’s Peer Support Network have a new monthly newsletter, called #PeerTalk. November is the first issue...

» New Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL) Single Point of Access

The new CNWL Single Point of Access was launched on 3rd November 2015. This is a one-stop entry point into working age adult secondary community mental health services for patients living in the North West London boroughs of Brent, Harrow, Hillingdon, K&C, and Westminster...

» Why do men engage less with primary health care? - [from People First Website]

On People First: Why do men engage less with primary health care? Men, on average, visit the GP 20% less than women, and younger men visit the GP half as often as younger women. Men are generally poor users of primary care. They are less likely to access other health services such as dentists...

» Maternity Project - Heathwatch CWL + Project management group Meeting on 28th Oct

Healthwatch Central West London have begun a research project on maternity and associated services in our three boroughs (Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster and Hammersmith and Fulham). We want to assess the quality of the experience of women who have delivered and used inpatients,outpatients...

» Westminster Time Credits - off to a strong start!

Westminster Time Credits Newsletter (October 2015).Since our update announcing that organisations can now sign up to the Westminster Time Credits network we have been super busy here at Westminster Time Credits. Our main focus has been to get out and about to spread the news...

» Flu Vaccination information letter from Public Health (Three boroughs)

Flu season is here again. For most people flu is an unpleasant illness from which they recover in two to seven days. However for children under 6 months, those over 65 years, those with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women, the risk of serious complications is higher. These complications...

» MEWSO Monthly Newsletter-September 2015

The Middle Eastern Women & Society Organisation (MEWSO) is pleased to bring you our second monthly newsletter. MEWSO is a women's run organisation dedicated to providing mental and emotional support to Middle Eastern and North African women who have faced/witnessed domestic violence...

» Westminster Time Credits

Spice, the social enterprise that has developed Time Credits -a way of recognising and celebrating the time people give to their community and to encourage more new people to get involved in volunteering – are setting up a local network in Westminster, with a specific focus on South Westminster…

» Medical Justice Press Release: HM Inspector of Prisons 2015 report on Yarl’s Wood - 12/08/15

HM Inspector Prisons 2015 insection of Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre -12th August 2015. “The severe decline in healthcare documented by HM Inspector of Prisons demonstrates that the Home Office and its private contractors have been incapable of learning lessons. The endemic harmful...

» Victoria Medical Centre in Westminster Rated 'Outstanding' by CQC

The Victoria Medical Centre – the oldest practice in Westminster - was rated ‘outstanding’ in the Care Quality Commission (CQC)’s latest round of reports. The Victoria Medical Centre offers General Practices (GP) services, and specialises in diagnostic and screening procedure, family planning services...