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September 2014 Quarterly Meeting Notes

Date & Time: 24th September, 9.45am – 1pm
Venue: Lighthouse West London, 111-117 Lancaster Road, W11 1QT
Theme: FGM
Agenda: Download here
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Working in partnership to prevent Female Genital Mutilation of Girls  - Debbie Raymond, Joint Tri-Borough Head of Safeguarding & Quality Assurance, K&C Council

How can clinical staff deliver on FGM directive and work in collaboration with patients Dr Neera Dholakia, Lead GP for Safeguarding Children, West London CCG 
Eddie Chan, BME Health Forum Chair and Director of the Chinese National Healthy Living Centre, welcomed all to the meeting and introduced the Facilitator of today’s meeting – Baljeet Ruprajah of Accomplish Consultancy

 

Baljeet is highly experienced in engaging with hard to reach communities with a passion for ensuring equality and diversity is at the core of service delivery and development.

She has extensive NHS experience that has included working from 2007 to 2013 as Chief Executive, Ealing.

Baljeet outlined the aims and objectives of todays meeting. ‘What is today about?’

  • Learn about good practice
  • Recognising good work that is already being done
  • Moving forward by looking at ways we will work together from here

Item 1:

The directive on FGM that all women who have FGM with daughters or a female fetus have to be referred to social care for assessment and advice and guidance and the implications of implementing the directive

Debbie Raymond, Joint Tri-Borough Head of Safeguarding & Quality Assurance, Kensington and Chelsea Council

The directive on FGM that all women who have FGM with daughters or a female fetus have to be referred to social care for assessment is a National directive and has been taken on in the Tri-borough area as the best way to prevent FGM from happening here. We have to get in early, respond sensitively meeting women in a holistic way. We know that we are feared and so it is important that Children’s services work with community partners towards a shared goal.

When do we start saying that girls/ women are at risk? – For domestic violence cases there is clear info on when the woman has to be referred to children’s services. This is how it works:

  • All agencies have a responsibility to work together to identify the most vulnerable at the earliest opportunity
  • We share information about those children to understand the whole picture
  • Children Services lead -  talk with their family to assess their situation
  • We make an assessment of the risk
  • We work with the parents to make a plan to keep the child safe, most often while they are within their family

For FGM this is not happening – Why?

Case Study – A referral was made to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) team from a school where 3 girls from Somalia had not returned to school after the summer holidays. It was then revealed that the mother was a victim of FGM herself which had in fact been picked up by a local hospital a year previously. The girls had also been to a travel clinic for vaccinations before going away.

It is not known for sure if these girls have gone through FGM but in any case this is exactly the situation where we have failed to protect children who were clearly highly at risk.

Drivers for change

Each borough has a lead person to contact about FGM for advice and we are also training health professionals about FGM.

We are running a pilot project in St Mary’s maternity services where women who are affected are referred to a specialist FGM clinic. We talk with the families to find out their views on FGM and we ask about overseas travel.

What are the barriers?

There is a fear that children will be taken away – however in reality when we sit down with a family we see that the fear usually disappears.

How we safeguard?

  1. Know who they are (those at risk)
  2. Assess their circumstances
  3. Work with the families to keep the child safe

Q&A

Question: Just because a woman has had FGM as a child does in not necessarily mean that she agrees with it and would want it done for her daughter.

Answer: Of course not all women want to do it but they don’t always have the power within the extended family.

Question: I am a practice nurse in Hammersmith & Fulham and I have been asking women if they have FGM when they are travelling. It’s a very awkward question to ask. Most often they tell me, along with their husband that they are horrified about FGM and would never do it. How then can I fill out a referral form? We have had no training in how to handle this situation and it is made all the more sensitive and awkward because there is the race issue which makes it particularly uncomfortable - we are only asking women from specific countries.

Answer: Do BME people not deserve the same safeguarding everyone else? We have to start somewhere.

Comment: Mum’s are often saying they won’t do it but later their children come in to FGM clinics so clearly it has happened anyway. There must be a fear in admitting to statutory services their real views/ intentions regarding FGM.

Comment: There is the worry that if word gets out that women who are travelling will be referred that women will avoid coming in for travel vaccines.


Item 2:

Midaye work with a number of the affected communities and will talk about how FGM is perceived by the affected communities and the impact on individuals

Idil Hassan and Filsan Ali, Midaye Somali Development Network

Idil runs the FGM community Forum for the Tri-Borough area. She pinpointed the lack of specific training available. It is key for professionals to engage with the affected communities.

Intro to Midaye and FGM:

99% of those in contact with Midaye have had contact with FGM.

Community Led FGM Training for professionals - Idil pointed out that even for her it is very difficult to talk to her own community about FGM and can imagine how hard it is for others (not part of these communities). She pointed out how the gap is increasing between professionals and the communities they are trying to serve on this issue. Of course women will say what they think professionals will want to hear.

We need to understand the consequences of not having FGM done to your daughter in these communities. A girl is not seen as ‘complete’ until she has had it done. FGM reduces women’s sexual desires and therefore is seen as more acceptable/ respectable.  There are different levels/ types of FGM and the least severe is Type 1. (partial or total removal of the clitoris). Many women do not even consider this procedure to be FGM so if they were asked would say they had not had it done.

Idil also mentioned that it is so embedded in these cultures that feminist groups who campaign for women’s rights in Sudan and Somalia will not bother with FGM.

She stressed that any girl leaving the UK is at risk.

Question: Can you tell me something about the economic factor involved in the practice.

Answer: Some people do it for a living. Type 3 (the most severe procedure) is actually now illegal but is still practiced.

Live Case Study presented by a lady with FGM - Sara: I had FGM done when I was 7/8 years old in Somalia. All the children in my neighborhood had it done except me. My parents didn’t want to do it for me and my mum said we didn’t have the money. I cried because I wanted to have it done. Finally I asked my sister and she gave me the money. We went to the hospital but by that time it was illegal to have the Type 3 FGM procedure done. All the other girls had said that they had had the full one done and I wanted it too. Before going to the hospital my mother offered extra money to the doctor to do the full procedure for me and he agreed to do it. During the procedure I didn’t scream or cry because I had a lot of medication. A rope was tied around my legs before I was taken home. I had no pain for 4 hours. When I woke up I couldn’t stand up and I had so much pain I couldn’t go to the toilet. I was given lots of sweets and presents from my friends and relatives. The first real problem I had after the procedure was a loss of memory which affected my school work. I came to the UK unmarried. I had very painful periods. I met a man who wanted to marry me and he asked if I had had FGM and when I told him I had the full FGM he was very pleased. Sexual encounters with my husband were practically impossible and I knew nothing about the reversal procedure. I miraculously got pregnant though and this was the first time that I spoke to a health professional about my FGM. The clinic said they will need to open me. I said I would rather be opened at the time of birth but finally I had a caesarian section. 2-3 months after giving birth I had the reversal procedure but didn’t feel a lot different. Smear tests are very difficult and I always have them at the hospital rather than the GP.

Idil concluded by stressing how it is all of our responsibility to keep everyone safe. It’s all of our business and that we should think of it as a problem for British people rather than just looking at it as problem for certain communities.

Q&A

Question/ comment: In reference to having to go to hospital for smear tests, all GP surgeries should have small speculums (suitable for women with FGM) to carry out smear tests. It shouldn’t be necessary to go to a hospital to have it done.

Question/ comment: 50% of women with FGM need to be opened and 1/3 or half of them have long term pain from tears of the perineum. In many case women have supposedly been opened but not very much so there are still problems. We do hope for good results by referring women to specialist clinics. In the lady’s case here who is still suffering after being opened do you think the reversal procedure was not done properly?

Answer: For some women it’s difficult to do the reversal procedure because of all the scar tissue from the original procedure. In UCLH there is a specialist gynecologist / urologist who does a very holistic review to help women with complicated cases.


Item 3:

How can clinical staff deliver on this directive and work in collaboration with patients Dr Neera Dholakia, Lead GP for Safeguarding Children, West London CCG

Dr Dholakia sits on the NHS England FGM Steering group. She got involved after a Home Office report was quite critical of how GPs handle FGM. It became apparent that training and support was needed to change this.

Training:

  • Face to face training is much more effective than e-learning
  • GP Forums for disseminating information
  • Collaborations between CCGs, Local Authorities and local communities.

We need funding for this.

Support:

Availability of support services for patients

  • Clinics for deinfibulation
  • Clinics for managing the short and long-term consequences, particularly psychological and sexual
  • Advocacy and community support networks to develop relationships and trust with families

We have set up mandatory training for GPs – Multi Agency, Domestic Violence and FGM.

We have to get routine questioning about FGM started so it does not seem that we are singling certain women out.

The FGM training includes the following elements:

  • Prevalence
  • Legislation
  • Classification
  • Identification – How to identify (New patient registration/ smear tests)
  • Complexities and community perspectives (simulated scenarios with actors / also always have a member of the community present to offer a real life perspective)
  • Consequences
  • Coding
  • Referral
  • Information sharing, consent, confidentiality

Barriers

  • Women and children disclosing
  • Clinicians asking

i.e. if women and children being in the room together/ if a man is in the room

Face to face vs E-learning

  • Specific for GPs
  • Female Genital Mutilation speaker and community perspective
  • Simulated Consultations
  • Case studies
  • Discussion and questions – interactive

Participants who did the training improved from 56% (in knowledge, awareness and skills around FGM) to 83%

So why isn’t everyone receiving this training?  - FUNDING

Q&A

Question/ comment: Regarding the training where you have a member of the community speaking about their experience – everyone needs to be aware that in fact everyone’s experience around this issue can be quite different.

Question:  Safeguarding/ DV and FGM should be in a separate training-  they are separate issues.

Answer: The topics are dealt with separately in within the training but we have to offer them in the same training package to ensure that all GPs actually do it.

Question: Why are you not getting funding for this training?

Answer: Most of the funding available is for development rather than provision.

 

Item 4:

Round table discussions on how the policy should be approached and implemented in a way that does alienate the affected communities leading to a breakdown in trust.

  1. How can we build trust between all agencies?
  2. How can we benefit from the expertise of community groups and develop and equal partnership approach?
  3. How can we continue to win ‘hearts and minds’ (changing and sustaining awareness and perceptions).


TRANSCRIPTS OF FLIPCHART NOTES FROM DISCUSSION TABLES:

Table 1

Q1

  • Training – face to face better than online – online better than none.
  • Dialogue – to break down fear
  • Feedback from Social Care re. referrals
  • Better/ start of cultural understanding – Events such as this/ Posters/ Leaflets  - to encourage disclosure
  • Schools
  • GPs – include FGM in notification for maternity booking

-        link to DV

  • Language – Gender issues

 

Q3

  • Dialogue
  • Multi-agencies
  • Hearing individuals experiences
  • Knowing the FGM practising communities views
  • Informing communities about support available – e,g role of CSC, reversal clinics for women
  • Professional applying sensitivity to maintain engagement with community
  • Support for professionals when a judgement is made to refer
  • Including males voice

Table 2

Q1

  • Education; fear is growing
  • Using community organisations to build links between fly and social workers
  • Helping social workers to understand cultural context – to speak the right language
  • Help/ educate community about social services processes
  • Training at schools
  • Training Imams at Mosques – close link with religion (Dar e Salaam and local Mosques – lady Sheikhs)
  • Speaking to men – educating men

Q2

  • Build links with community – to use the community to help consult/ explain cultural barriers

 

Table 3

Qs1-3

  • Consistent knowledge
  • Accessible language
  • Agreed leaflet – standardised
  • Collaboration between agencies/ communities
  • Education – schools/ colleges + educating men
  • Community involvement – Strategy Forums
  • Consistent approaches – strategically. Improved communication between strategy/ communities/ agencies
  • Commissioning consistently of charities developing work. Greater collaboration/ networks. Reduce fragmentation
  • Part of Safeguarding training level 3 (optional modules?) mandatory training.
  • Concerns re. alienating women in general practice – ethnic profiling – radicalisation.
  • Links to work in countries (DFID funding)
  • Practice – happening here?
  • The law – no prosecution here

                                    Heavy handed approach but 200+ prosecutions

  • Joined up approach

Not tick box exercise

Knowledge of services

  • How to change attitudes in communities
  • Funding for community support agencies/ professionals training

Table 4

Q1

  • Building relationships with the communities
  • Using local communities involved in the practice to help
  • Understanding the complexity of the belief of FGM – balancing being a mother and what expectations may be for their daughters within community (marriage etc.)
  • Involving and working with men among communities + view point
  • Regular opportunities to sustain relationships and awareness of all agencies involved/ working with communities playing a role
  • Increasing cultural understanding and that this is part of the decision making + policy but balanced with human approach – children need protecting – complex situation – FGM driven by caring motives.
  • Helping to break down some of the perceptions of statutory services (back to building relationships with the community)
  • Changing the language we use – ‘abuse’ for example.
  • Training to help understand the perspectives involved  and the complexity.

Q2

  • This is a complex area-  built around history and families and driven by love and parental belief not ‘abuse’
  • Involving men in these communities

Q3

  • Funding for training
  • Keeping dialogue going between everyone/ agency involved – needs to be a continuous and consistent approach. This will not change overnight.
  • Engaging with communities as partners not ‘victims’ or ‘criminals’. Changing the future together

 

Table 5

Q1

  • Communication
  • Training  -1st hand stories (involving both genders,DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES
  • Trust between community & agency
  • Driven by community
  • Universal issue
  • While building trust, involve men
  • Led by professionals from those practising communities
  • Common strategy

Q2

  • Steering Group from each practising community
  • Faith leaders to be involved
  • Using expertise of the practising communities to define
  • Peer education
  • Multi-community
  • Prevention and breaking the cycle

Q3

  • Understanding reasons behind [practice?]
  • A positive case study e.g mothers who have been educated on the issue to speak out
  • Being careful with language we use! – changing language and how we present to parents!
  • Providing “alternations” to preserve dignity e.g sex education for both genders should be compulsory!!)
  • Every child should have sex ed including FGM (no segregation – it’s everyone’s issue!)
  • Language needs to be defines – interchange between FGM & virginity!

 

Table 6

Q1

  • Lack of clear guidance
  • Common approach to training (community + GP + Social services)
  • Lack of referrals process (FGM is not a part of child protection policy)
  • Clinics and social services
  • Increased communication

Further comments and questions:

Comment: Perception of FGM and the language we use is extremely important. When using the word ‘mutilation’ women will of course respond that they most certainly do not mutilate. In Somali the word for the procedure is much nicer e.g halal. It is important to understand how communities use language around this issue.

Question: What is the general view on the reversal procedure? What is the man’s view?

Answer: For some women (as the lady from the case study) the man (her husband) was very supportive. However in some other cases it can result in domestic violence and women sometimes refuse to have the reversal procedure done.

Question: Are women now asked (at maternity booking appointment) about FGM as with DV) without a man present? Do GPs know if a woman has FGM?

Answer: very rarely does a GP know if a woman has FGM or not. What happens now is that when it is discovered the women is referred to an FGM specialist clinic.

Question: Is it usually a joint discussion with the man?

Answer: Sometimes but often women come alone.

Amal Osman – who works at the FGM clinic at Charing Cross hospital reported that they see over 800 women with this issue and that many men don’t want to come to the clinic. Some men are against it and would divorce or commit DV when they know that even another woman touches his wife’s private parts.

Comment: Re. schools – many families opt out of sex education

Comment: Re. schools – head teachers don’t seem to understand the important it is to be aware of FGM.

Question: Do we know the prevalence of women who have not had it done? Could we have case studies – role models for the community?

Answer/ comment: At the FGM Forum we have many advocates who speak out against it but others often sit at the back in silence. Many women do not understand that their health problems are due to FGM. More education around this is needed.

Comment: Basic laws and responsibilities should be understood. However key problem is that legislation is going ahead much faster than an effective education/ understanding of the issues is happening.

 

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Yuva is DVIP’s young people’s service for families where children/ adolescents have been violent or abusive to their parents/carers. The service is currently able to accept referrals from agencies and/or parents in families across London that have had a history of domestic violence. Families will eligible for support if the young person has witnessed/experienced dv and needs support to rebuild safe relationships within the family. Another criteria for eligibility is that the young person is willing to address their behaviour and is 18 or under.

» Enhance your coping skills

Central and North-West London NHS Foundation Trust is offering to run free talking therapy workshops based on cognitive behaviour therapy to interested organisations. Topics covered include ways to manage stress and worry, living with long term health conditions, improving unhelpful thinking habits and much more.

» ‘Stronger Knowing More’ raising awareness for black men about their increased risk of prostate cancer

Find out more and join the campaign: 1 in 4 black men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, double the risk faced by all men, which is 1 in 8. Yet, only 14% of black men are aware of their higher risk. So Prostate Cancer UK has launched a campaign called Stronger Knowing More, to make sure that all black men know their risk and what to do about it.

» 8th of March 2017 Meeting notes

THEME:Getting involved in improving services

» African Women's Care

AWC works with Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee (BAMER) adults, children and young people, fleeing domestic and sexual abuse including forced marriage, human trafficking, female genital mutilation, gang violence and ‘honour’-based violence.

» Family Works (supporting families): helping members in the family secure employment

The Family Works programme is not mandatory and is for anyone who is a member of a family in need of support and unemployed.

» 10 free Counselling sessions for Arabic, Farsi and Kurdish speaking women

Middle Eastern Women and Society Organisation offers counselling to provide support for the complex needs of displaced women from Middle Eastern and North African communities living in London, who are suffering from traumas caused by Civil Wars, regional conflicts and violence.

» Westminster Mental Health and Community Wellbeing Services and Networks

The latest edition of Different Voices’ Book of Services, updated for 2017. This is a directory of services in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea, produced by the Different Voices User Involvement initiative at The Advocacy Project. All the recommendations in the booklet are based on our service users’ experiences of having used or researched these services.

» December 6th 2016 Meeting Notes

THEME: Migration, Homelessness and Mental Health

» July 20th Diabetes Open Meeting Notes

THEME: Diabetes and Black Minority Ethnic Communities

» May 2016 Quarterly Meeting notes

THEME: Domestic Abuse among BME Communities. This meeting explored the issue of Domestic Abuse from many different angles such as the barriers around housing, the particular difficulties for people with no recourse to public funds and the psychological issues for young people who have been exploited...

» March 2016 Quarterly Meeting notes

THEME: Stigma. This meeting's theme was about stigma and how it contributes to inequalities and stops people accessing services. We heard presentations discussing stigma in many different contexts from mental health and sexual health to the stigma surrounding disabilities, gender transitioning and dying.

» Healthy Relationships:Healthy Baby Programme

Pregnancy is a time of hope but can also bring challenges and strains. Healthy Relationships:Healthy Baby is a new programme from a local charity, especially for expectant mums and dads living in Westminster. Our dedicated team will work with you and your family so you can bring an end to hurtful behavior...

» December 2015 Quarterly Meeting notes

Theme: Young People's Health & Wellbeing. This was a great meeting to attend to hear about projects in the voluntary sector and ask our NHS commissioners and providers some searching questions. Presentations included: Westminster Mind, Spectra, Al Badja and the Westminster council...

» The Talking Talk Shop at The Dalgarno Trust, Wednesdays 11am - 12.30pm

The Talking Talk Shop is now open at The Dalgarno Trust on Wednesdays from 11am - 12.30pm. We work with people from all backgrounds with varying disabilities, who are on waiting list or finished counselling but wish to continue talking in a confidential, relaxed and safe environment...

» 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...

» September 2015 Quarterly Meeting Notes

THEME: DEMENTIA - This was a great event to attend to find out more about how services for people with Dementia have been planned and delivered and question the people in charge of doing so. It was also a great opportunity to find out more about how to support people with Dementia and what services are available in the NHS and the third sector including some specialist services for BME communities.

» 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...

» Volunteering opportunities at the Barlby Surgery - Practice Champions

The Barlby Surgery is currently recruiting volunteers (Practice Champions) from Barlby Surgery and the local community. Practice Champions are individuals with the local community that volunteer to develop support groups and health education events for children. These groups will support children and their...

» 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...

» Volunteer Prison and Immigration Removal Centre Monitors

About the role: Inside every prison and immigration removal centre there is an Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) - a group of ordinary members of the public doing an extraordinary job.IMB volunteers spend a few days a month independently monitoring day-to-day life in their local prison...

» SMART Projects Stop Smoking Service

SMART Projects is launching a Stop Smoking Service, funded by the Kensington & Chelsea Social Council and in partnership with the Kick-it Stop Smoking Service. SMART will be providing Stop smoking advice on a one to one basis and workshops for people who would like to find out more...

» 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...

» Al-Aman (DVIP) Arabic Speaking service

DVIP’s Al-aman service has continued to receive funding from London Councils to support women from Arabic speaking communities who have been affected by gender based violence, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and honour based violence...

» Different Voices’ Directory of Services in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea

A directory of services was produced by the Different Voices Group at The Advocacy Project. It is a user involvement group that focuses on improving inpatient services and tackling the stigma attached to mental health. All the recommendations in the booklet are based on the service users’ own experiences of having used those services...

» 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...

» Royal Trinity Hospice launches new dementia service in Kensington and Chelsea

Royal Trinity Hospice has launched a new service to support people with dementia and their carers living in Kensington and Chelsea, tackling recognised inequalities in access to palliative and end of life care.Funded by West London CCG, Trinity’s specialist Community Dementia Nurse will support people...

» Conversational English for beginners (for over 50s)

Brush up on your spoken, written and grammatical English to become a more confident speaker! For people aged 50 and over. TUESDAYs - 10.00am – 12.00pm. £3.00 per class @ New Horizons, Guinness Trust Estate, Cadogan Street, London, SW3 2PF...

» Healthier Homes Project

The Healthier Homes Project is a Public Health funded project to assist in reducing hospital admissions, GP visits and winter deaths caused by residents living in homes that are too cold, damp or are in dangerous conditions that put their health at risk.The project works as a referral service...

» 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...

» ANGELOU Referrals

On the 1st July ADVANCE in conjunction with eight other organisations launched a shared service across Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster supporting women and girls who are experiencing or have experienced violence and abuse this partnership is called Angelou...

» MEND Healthy Lifestyle Programmes for Children and Parents

Mytime Active has been commissioned by the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster City Council to offer a range of free healthy lifestyle services across the three boroughs. Our Mind, Exercise, Nutrition…Do It! (MEND)...

» 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...

» African and African-Caribbean Cancer Support Group (at The Lake Foundation)

The Lake Foundation is a Croydon-based charity that aims to improve the health and well-being of the African and African-Caribbean Community. We run a monthly African and African-Caribbean Cancer Support Group and the aim of the group is to provide anyone who has been touched by cancer with support...

» 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...

» IRANIAN ASSOCIATION - Advice and Education Centre Services and Classes

General Information and Advice; English Language Classes; English Language Exam; Information Technology Course; Counselling and Group Therapy; Exercise and Health Awareness Workshops; Tests For Citizenship and Settlement; Immigration and Citizenship Advice & Arts and Cultural Activities... ;

» June 2015 Quarterly Meeting notes

THEME: SUPPORTING PEOPLE APPROACHING THE END OF THEIR LIVES. This meeting was about how to best support people who are approaching the end of their lives. Public health are conducting a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) about end of life care and would like to hear from you about how you feel services work currently and any gaps that there might be...

» EWEG's Mental Wellbeing Project (support in Amharic, French, Arabic languages)

EWEG (Ethiopian Women’s Empowerment Group) will provide a safe space for the clients to talk with a trained volunteers on one to one basis. The safe space will give the clients privacy to express their feelings in their own languages.If you are working with BME Groups this might be for you...

» March 2015 Quarterly Meeting notes

THEME: WOMEN AND CHILDREN'S HEALTH & WELLBEING

» Solace Women’s Aid Ascent Counselling Service (also in other languages)

Solace Women’s aid is an accomplished charitable organisation providing a range of support services to women and children. Our specialist domestic and sexual violence counselling service provides 16 free counselling sessions which includes an assessment, for women and girls from 14 year old...

» IAPT Courses and Workshops

IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) are running one off workshops and 6 weeks courses on a variety of subjects from confidence building, Improving sleep, procrastination, assertiveness and much more. People can refer themselves and organisations can also arrange for sessions to be delivered at their site...

» Health Trainer Service: Hammersmith & Fulham

Health Trainers provide support designed to improve wellbeing and combat the causes of chronic lifestyle-related diseases. Health Trainers are local individuals trained to identify and make contact with others to help improve lifestyle choices such as healthy eating, weight loss, increasing physical activity...

» Be FIT For Work - Dalgarno Community Champions can help

Are you looking to upskill yourself back into work or looking for experience to start work? Dalgarno Community Champions can help you! Here’s how - Supporting Opportunities: Maths and English classes; IT support; CV help; References for future employment; Work placement opportunities in Health...

» Access to Health New Project: Information and Referral form

‘Access to Health’ is a new project which aims to support homeless and vulnerably housed pregnant women and families with a child/children under 5 years old in Westminster or temporarily housed outside the borough...

» Services

» Activities/Courses

» COFFEE MORNINGS with SW1 Community Organisers every Friday 10.30 - 12.00

Share your ideas, chat and catch up on local issues. Open to all SW1 residents. VENUE: The Hinsley Room, Morpeth Terrace. London SW1P 1EW. Time: Every Friday 10.30am - 12pm...

» Exercise for Health and Wellbeing in 2015 with SW1CO (Fridays am)

EXERCISE FOR HEALTH, WELLBEING to increase mobility, balance and sense of well-being. Open to all SW1 residents. VENUE: Hinsley Room, Morpeth Terrace, SW1 TIME: 9.30 – 10.30 AM. Every Friday - £2 donation...

» December 2014 Quarterly Meeting notes

THEME: WHOLE SYSTEMS INTEGRATED CARE

» September 2014 Quarterly Meeting notes

THEME: FGM

» New Young Women's Domestic Violence project for Arabic speakers

Al-Hasaniya Moroccan's Women's Centre have a new project for young women of Arabic backgrounds who have or are experiencing domestic violence. The service is aimed at young women aged between 16 and 25 years old who live in London...

» June 2014 Quarterly Meeting notes

THEME: MENTAL WELLBEING

» Counselling Services for female survivors of domestic and sexual abuse (Westminster and K&C)

Please be aware of the free Therapeutic Services provided by Solace Women’s Aid in Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster. These include:1to1 counselling for female survivors of domestic violence age 14 + (Ascent). 1to1 counselling for female survivors of sexual violence including child sexual abuse (aged 14+)...

» New Domestic Abuse service for Arabic speaking Women

Al-Hasaniya Moroccan Women’s Centre has recently been successful in securing funding for a new project to support young, vulnerable women of Arabic speaking backgrounds who are or have experienced domestic abuse. Our service is aimed at young women aged between 16 and 25 years old...

» Kick-It FREE Stop Smoking Support service for local communities

The Free Stop Smoking Support sessions include specialist behavioural support by certified Stop Smoking Practitioners, which will improve the client’s motivation as well as help building up capacities and strategies to stay smoke-free...

» Westminster Connect - Peer support group

The peer support is for people aged 18 to 60 who have a physical disability, hearing or sight impairments and those with long term health conditions. Westminster Connect also co-ordinates peer support for Deaf people...

» April 2014 Quarterly Meeting notes

THEME: Unscheduled care - the utilisation of A and E and Urgent care services by BME communities

» Housing and resettlement, Welfare benefits and debt advice (Westminster)

The Bayswater Families Centre, in conjunction with CAB, Homestart and Z2K are holding Drop-in Advice sessions covering: Housing Advice and Assistance; Resettlement Advice and Assistance; Welfare benefits Advice and Assistance; Debt Advice and Assistance...

» Free counselling sessions in Spanish & English at the Migrants Resource Centre

WHY COUNSELLING? There are times in our lives when we experience distressing events and times; when we can find ourselves overwhelmed with feelings that seem to have no obvious explanation.When this happens, counselling can be very helpful...

» Zumba at Portobello Green Fitness Club

Fridays 2 - 3pm, Portobello Green Fitness Club. Price £2.10. It's fun, It's fitness, It's ZUMBA!...

» IKWRO - Self Confidence Support Group for Women

Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) is registered charity that provides confidential support, advice and advocacy and outreach to women and girls of Middle Eastern origin. We work to help women and girls who are facing gender based violence...

» November 2013 Quarterly Meeting notes

THEME: URGENT CARE – ‘IS THE NHS MEETING THE NEEDS OF BME COMMUNITIES?’

» Employability Services in Westminster (as of 20/01/2014)

In light of all the changes in services in Westminster, I have recently completed a piece of work which is a document listing current employability services available at present for families...

» A Moveable Creche service from the Abbey Centre (South Westminster)

A Moveable Crèche provides an excellent value and flexible childcare service for clients. Sessions are delivered in a venue of your choice, for as many children as the size of the venue permits...

» Drinkwatchers Group EVERY Wednesday

The Horn of Africa Health and Wellbeing Project runs a WEEKLY Drinkwatchers support group on Wednesdays - sessions are free and cover the physical, social and psychological effects of alcohol and support available...

» September 2013 Quarterly Meeting notes

Theme: 'HAVE YOUR SAY ON IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF SERVICES AND THE PATIENT EXPERIENCE'

» K&C Mind HARP Group (Hoarding, Acquiring Recovery Planning)

The HARP Support Group is a new, monthly, facilitated self-help programme, for people who are motivated to develop strategies and actions to manage and modify compulsive hoarding behaviour...

» British Red Cross Refugees and Befriending Project

The British Red Cross runs four 'Refugees and Befriending Projects' (R'n'B) for young unaccompanied refugees and asylum seekers aged 14-21. Our peer-led befriending projects are facilitated by peer-befrienders and adult volunteers...

» December 2012 Quarterly Meeting notes

THEME: IMPROVING OUR MENTAL WELLBEING

» September 2012 Quarterly Meeting notes

THEME: IMPROVING NHS COMMUNITY SERVICES – KEEPING PEOPLE OUT OF HOSPITAL

» June 2012 Quarterly Meeting notes

» Community Champions Coffee Mornings - Diabetes (starting Wednesday 4th September)

Are you worried about diabetes? Or want to know more about it. Come to our health themed coffee morning. Where alongside your tea or coffee you can engage in health issues which affect you or others around you...

» Active for Life - Opportunities to Keep Fit In the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) Leisure Services’ Sports Development Team provides a wide variety of sport and physical activity opportunities for RBKC residents at venues across the borough including targeted sessions for specific groups...

» July 2013 Quarterly Meeting notes

» Free Days Out for Carers in Kensington and Chelsea

We also offer free training courses, complimentary therapies, other free events, talks and social meet-ups - booking essential...

» Storytelling Women’s Group at the Refugee Therapy Centre.(every Wednesday)

Come along and join our friendly Storytelling Women’s Group at the Refugee Therapy Centre.We welcome women with all levels of English. It’s a great way to get to know new people and practise your language skills.We meet every Wednesday from 11:00am—14:00pm...

» March 2011 Quarterly Meeting notes

» June 2011 Quarterly Meeting notes

» September 2011 Quarterly Meeting notes

» December 2011 Quarterly Meeting notes

» March 2012 Quarterly Meeting notes

Date & Time: 7th March 12, 10am – 1pm, Venue: The Abbey Centre, 34 Great Smith Street, SW1P 3BU, Theme: Men’s Health & Wellbeing

» March 2013 Quarterly Meeting notes

Theme: Women’s Health & Wellbeing Date: 6th March 2013 Venue: Lighthouse West Lodon

» Domestic abuse and Sexual violence Information about Helpline services in your area

Please see below some information about domestic and sexual violence helplines that are funded by London Councils and available in your area...

» Psychological Therapies in languages other than English

Please note that all NHS psychological therapy services are obliged to provide an interpreter for people who are not fluent English speakers. This includes counselling services offered by GP practices as well as IAPT or other mental health services offered by CNWL or CLCH...

» Personalisation Project at the Chinese Mental Health Association

The Befriending Service at the Chinese Mental Health Association is running a pilot Personalisation project for ethnic Chinese sufferers of mental health. Personalisation is about giving people with needs, choice and control over their care, with support and resources provided by their local authority...

» Fit-for-Life - Free 8 week weight loss programme

This FREE eight week group behaviour change programme is designed to help the patients to lose weight, get fitter and make more informed choices about your diet and lifestyle...

» Deaf Hope Services

Deaf Hope is a new specialist domestic abuse service for Deaf women and children, and the first service of its kind in the UK. We have been established around 18 months and our current funding is...

» Healthier Life for You blog

Healthier LIfe 4 You is a community organisation not for profit with charitable aims. We aim to promote Health and Wellbeing to local people in the community (Families, Children & Young people). As well as running Health workshops, we use Dance, Art & Craft and Leisure activities to enable service users to achieve emotional and Physical wellbeing...

» Public Health Training Service - RBKC

The Royal Borough can help your business. We offer award-winning training on Food Safety and Health and Safety. We also offer Environmental Principles training, Personal Licence Holders training and Customer Service Training...

» FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) Service

West London African Women's service - Community support and information...

» Independent Domestic Violence Advisory Service at ADVANCE

ADVANCE is a specialist domestic violence crisis intervention service. We support women who are assessed as being high or very high risk of continued domestic and sexual abuse and those at risk of being killed...

» Counselling Directory - search for a counsellor or psychotherapist near you

Counselling Directory was set up as a free, confidential service to encourage those in distress to seek help. Visitors can read about different areas of distress, view useful articles written by counsellors and refine their...

» GO4mental health

A website/ directory for mental health service users in Westminster...

» North London Rape Crisis Service

North London Rape Crisis offers free, confidential counselling, advocacy and holistic therapies to women aged 14 and over who live, work or study in Islington, Camden, Westminster, Barnet, Enfield, Kensington and Chelsea and Haringey...

» Health Trainers

Health Trainers provide free one-to-one support, motivation and advice to borough residents (from Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea or Hammersmith & Fulham) over 18 who want to improve their health and wellbeing...

» Women's Wellbeing, Patient Empowerment and Mental Health & Wellbeing projects at Mosaic Community Trust

The Mosaic Community Trust’s Women’s Well-Being Project seeks to empower women who are socially disadvantaged. The Patient Empowerment and Engagement project aims to raise awareness in the local community on the availability and effective use primary care health services...

» Befriending for Asian Women at Henna

Henna’s befriender-workers will pay regular weekly or monthly visits to some of the most vulnerable ladies in the community. These visits could be to those who were members of Henna in the past and have been restricted...

» Substance misuse services - NEW three borough service

Turning Point and Blenheim have been commissioned to provide the new substance misuse service in Westminser, RBKC, and Hammersmith & Fulham. This service is named the Recovery & Wellbeing network and will transform the way that drug and alcohol services are provided locally...

» Help for your Family with Home-Start (Westminster)

We support ANY family in Westminster who needs us, providing there is at least 1 child under 5. Rich or poor, settled or transient.Our trained volunteers help to give encouragement and support to change the pattern of troubled lives...

» NHS videos aimed at newly arrived migrants in various languages

Here are a series of short films on how to use the NHS aimed at newly arrived migrants produced by the Black Health Agency. The film is available in English, Arabic, Cantonese, Farsi/Dari, French, Kurdish, Mandarin, Polish, Somali, Sylheti and Urdu...

» Foot and Toenail Care Service in Westminster

Having Problems Managing your Nail Care??? Apply for Westminster’s new Basic Foot Care Service now!...

» LIVING WELL - Wellbeing services

Living Well offers a wide range of high-quality health related services aimed at providing people with the skills they need to get the most out of life. Services include HIV service, Youth service and Community support service...

» Dementia Adviser Service in Westminster

The Westminster Dementia Adviser service provides advice, information and guidance to those who have received a diagnosis of dementia, as well as their families and supporters. As well as working in partnership with NHS...

» Healthworks

HEALTHWORKS√ offers a range of services to help the residents of Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, Westminster and surrounding boroughs

» South Westminster Centre for Health

Provides community and specialist dental services, district nursing, nutrition and dietetics, diabetes and podiatry (foot health) services, Speech and language therapy for children...

» Fit for Work Service in Kensington & Chelsea now expanding to Westminster and Hammermith & Fulham

Fit for Work Service in Kensington & Chelsea now expanding to Westminster and Hammermith & Fulham

» Jobs in Mind

Jobs in Mind, a mental health charity whose varied services provide specialist support and advice around problems at work, training and education. Our mission is to understand, support and enable the recovery of those affected by mental health problems...

» Health Centre for walk-in (unregistered) patients

The Halfpenny Steps Health Centre provides health services for registered and walk-in patients. It is staffed with a team of GPs, nurses and other healthcare professionals to deliver a high quality, continuous service...

» Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) - Westminster service

STRESSED, ANXIOUS, DEPRESSED? If you are finding it difficult to cope with feelings of anxiety or depression, we can offer quick and easy access to help and support...

» Employers: Fit for Work Service Leaflet

If you have employees off work sick or struggling with health problems you can refer them to Fit for Work Service at no cost to your business...

» Housing Factsheet Library

Some housing factsheets on key housing issues. The fact sheets provide a very basic summary of the issue, the possible actions you can take, and who to contact for further information...

» Women's Therapy Centre

The Women's Therapy Centre has been offering individual and group psychotherapy to women since 1976. Its access policy ensures that psychotherapy is available to all women, regardless of sexual orientation, disability, cultural or social...

» Arabic Women’s Project at Al-Hasaniya, North Kensington

Based in North Kensington we offer advice and support in health and welfare of Arabic speaking women. We have a Domestic Violence project and also a children and families mental health project as well as many other...

» Get Active! - Affordable activities for all abilities and ages at the Beethoven Centre

See details below for affordable activities for all abilities and ages available at the Beethoven Centre...

» Breathe Easy Support Group

DO YOU LIVE IN PIMLICO AND SUFFER FROM A BREATHING PROBLEM? BREATHE EASY PADDINGTON is your Westminster patient support group, for anyone affected by a lung condition. We offer mutual support, information...

» Dual Diagnosis User Involvement Project [Westminster]

Who? The project is for adults with dual diagnosis mental health and learning disabilities living in Westminster. These are the only criteria for taking part; we aim for the project to be inclusive. It is run by The Advocacy...

» Helpline for Maternity Services

The maternity helpline provides direct access to clinical support and advice to women and their families, irrespective of whether you are a patient of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, a visitor to the area or simply require information and support.

» Westminster Wellbeing - Free NHS service promoting Health and Wellbeing

Westminster Wellbeing is a free NHS service promoting health and wellbeing within communities and organisations in Westminster. We provide a range of services which include training and workshops for community organisations...

» Maternity Action Advice Line

Maternity Action’s Advice Line offers free confidential telephone support. We will listen to you and try to understand all the issues you are facing. We will then provide you with information that is relevant to you and your situation...

» HELP Counselling - low cost short & long term counselling service

Based in Portobello Road, Notting Hill Gate, London, HELP Counselling Centre provides short & long-term counselling based on an affordable, sliding scale for people who need support in negotiating a crisis as well as for those who wish to consider their life patterns and choices...

» Rape Crisis London

Rape Crisis London has four centres that offer help, information and support to women and girls who have experienced sexual violence of any kind, at any time of their lives...

» Jobs/Volunteering