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BME Health Forum Quarterly Meeting Notes [DONWLOAD NOTES HERE or see below]

Date & Time: Tuesday 26th June 2018, 10.30-13.30

Venue: Notting Hill Methodist Church, Community Room, 240 Lancaster Road, W11 4AH


Tania Faraj – The Abbey Community Centre

Alaa Mohamed – NHS Hammersmith & Fulham CCG

Salma Mehar – NHS Brent CCG/ NWL CCG

Alex Silverstein – NHS NWL CCG

Nafsika Thalassis – BME Health Forum

Vivien Davidhazy – BME Health Forum

Eddie Chan – Chinese National Healthy Living Centre

Maryam Yaslem – Al-Hasaniya Moroccan Women’s Centre

Rachel Krausz – NHS West London CCG

Marie Tameze – French African Welfare Association

Gladys Jusu- Sheriff – WAND UK

Edem Ntumy – NAZ Project/ SASH

Beth Golding – NHS Hammersmith & Fulham CCG/ Central London CCG

Abubaker Bahery – NHS Central London CCG

Kabung Lomodong – FORWARD

Filsan Ali – Midaye Somali Development Network

Faith Ndirangu – Healthier Life 4 You/ Healthier Divas


Eddie Chan, Chair of the BME Health Forum, welcomed all to the meeting and Introductions were made.

Item 1: Diabetes Transformation – Creating a new dietary resource for BAME communities with Diabetes - Salma Mehar

Salma Mehar is a specialist diabetes dietician in Brent and is currently working in partnership with NW London CCG in developing a dietary resource for BAME communities with Diabetes.

Diabetes Transformation Programme is focused on the following aspects:

F - Feet

A -Achievement fo the 3 treatment target (blood pressure levels, Sugar levels, Cholesterol levels)

C – Chance – Reducing people’s chance of developing diabetes

E – Education.


Salma has been working for 15 years in North West London. Engagement can be challenging and we have limited resources to help us. And resources we do have are wordy and there are lots of restrictions. We want to create a dietary resource that is more engaging.

When we say ‘Diet should be 50% carbohydrate’ – what do we actually mean by this?

Carbs and Cals

Carbs and Cals is an organisation that created resources with pictures of foods and listing how much carbohydrate is in that food. We started using thes resources in clinics but realised that is does not have foods from BME communities. We then started to talk to local communities about what foods people were having locally.

From this point we created a prototype resource and we want to ask you the following:

  • Is this resource useful?
  • Is it effective?
  • Will it help people understand?

To start with we have covered food from the following communities:

  • Gujurati
  • Pakistani
  • Caribbean
  • African

Does the resource improve understanding how much carbohydrate is in the food that you eat? We have created this design with some input from focus groups and our own input – BUT we want now to improve it and get feedback to update it.

Question (Nafsika):  I think that the notion of a spoonful of sugar to denote carbohydrate content is confusing if the food is not sweet.

Answer: If I was to show you a slice of bread has 15g of carbohydrate – what does this actually look like? We use images of a teaspoon of sugar ti show what happens to carbohydrate when you eat it.

Further comment (Nafska): Are you happy if the message that people take away is that the glucose you get from carbohydrates is as bad as glucose you get from sugar are you happy with that?

Answer: We are trying to simplify for ease of understanding – we want people to take into account that carbohydrates do raise your blood sugar levels and we use teaspoons to help people visualise the quantities.

Further question (Nafsika): But are you happy for people to take away the nessage that 5 teaspoons of white sugar is the same as (say) 5 chapatis.

Answer: In terms of sugar and blood glucose levels it is the same – however, obviously in terms of nutrients – the white sugar is empty of any nutrients.

It was noted that this is the beginning of the discussion to help us improve this resource. He then asked attendees to write on post-it notes their responses to the following questions:

A) What foods/ drinks/ snacks/ veg and fruit would you put into the book to ensure it is well received by the people you work with.

B) What would this resource have to look like/ include to be understood by the people you work with? (e.g book, app, pictures, colourful, in other languages)

Then stick post- it answers on the relevant flipchart.

This could be a really powerful resource to help people with Tyoe 2 Diabetes.

Question: Can we include healthy options along with the information of how much sugar is in the food?

Answer: We don’t include all the info for healthy options etc. as the guide would be very long – our goal for this resource is quite specific about helping people understand the sugar content – raising people’s understanding of sugar content of their food.

Question: And should it not take into account that 2nd and 3rd generation eat a lot of British foods and different kinds of food?

Answer: We do have resources for British foods – but there is a gap for the ethnic foods – this is why we are doing this.



  • We will take back the points from Nafsika and this will help us develop the resource.
  • We will then set up a working group to help finalise the resource. If there is anyone from your communities who would like to be part of the working group please let us know.
  • Also, If anyone would like to run a workshop on this in your communities please let us know.
  • We will come back to the BME Health Forum to provide an update and obtain further advice on how best to promote wider amongst BME Populations.

Finally, we don’t have a name for the resource yet. We would like something that will be suitable for all communities.

Vivien will send out the world food questionnaires via the BME Health Forum mailing list and feedback from these questionnaires will also be very helpful.

Question: How does this all tie in with the National Diabetes agenda?

Answer: At the start of the presentation spoke about FACE objectives. This initiative appeals to the A, C and E of the FACE objectives for Diabetes.

Question: Who do you think it will improve outcomes nationally?

Answer: The resource will assist the health coaches, health trainers – it will be an aid to help people engage better with patients. It will also help individuals take more control themselves.

Comment: Would be great to include a section on popular takeaway food e.g bubble tea is very popular amongst all students/ young people.

Feedback/ comment: I think using a sugar spoon [for carb content] is very good because it really highlights to people the similarity of sugar in tea and say sugar in plantain.


We are looking at mid July to wrap up feedback for this and August to finalise the food list and September for the design.

We will be coming back for feedback on the design and layout.


Item 2: H&F Outcomes Framework, Update on the equalities framework & GP Extended Hours

Bethany reported on engagement around Equalities objectives and outcomes framework. They want to know what people want to get out of healthcare and what people think the NHS should be doing to reduce health inequalities. She pointed out that unless the equalities objectives look at all issues facing local communities and unless what people are telling them in local communities is the same as the goals of local providers, there will be limited impact.

There are three open Equalities workshops -  the first one was yesterday (25th June), the next one is on Friday 29th June and the final one on the following Thursday.

Question: Do you have enough feedback so far from BME communities?

Answer: Yes for Hammersmith & Fulham, although not so much from Polish and Irish communities. In West London we have more work to do. If you feel that there any groups we need to be engaging with let us know. e.g. older Somali women, or young African men. Second of all, also do let us know how you think we should engage.

Question: Can you do engagement meetings on Saturdays?

Answer: Yes

Question: Under 25s and over 65s?

Answer: Yes, there are in fact 2 workstreams for under 25s and over 65s.

Question: When is the consultation period over?

Answer: Consultation started in February and we aim to finish work in September so we are aiming to finish the consultation by the end of July.


Nafsika agreed to send Bethany information about different groups to approach.

Beth asked anyone to email her if they had any further questions about the consultation.