Supporting the hospital to improve stays for patients from the Bangladeshi community

Our work with the local Hospital Trust has helped them to better understand the needs of patients from the Bangladeshi community, address some of the communication issues they face and ultimately improve the treatment and care of patients in general.
Young women looking at the camera

Feedback gathered in July 2021 from members of the BAME community who use the Sunderland Bangladesh and International Centre (SBIC), informed us that some people who were hospital patients during the pandemic were struggling with some aspects of their treatment and care.   Communication was highlighted as an issue as well as lack of understanding around cultural needs and differences. 

As a result of this feedback, we connected members from SBIC with NHS workers within South Tyneside and the Sunderland Foundation Trust (STSFT) so they could directly inform them of the issues they and their family members had faced when using Sunderland Royal Hospital.

What difference did this make

The outcome of this work has led to the SBIC having regular communication with the Trust, the development of new equality and diversity training for Trust staff and the development of communications aids including picture cards, which will ultimately enable staff to communicate better with people who do not have English as a first language, people with a learning disability and others who struggle with verbal communication.  

Jake Higgin, Inclusion Advisor at STSFT gave the following update about the training in March 2022;

I've met with the team at SBIC a few times now and we have developed a 1-hour training workshop, which can be delivered virtually or hopefully face to face. We've tried to unpick some of the incidents which have been anonymised to think about why they occurred and the impact they had. The workshop covers some of the drivers of prejudice/myths around the Bangladeshi community and includes some ‘must knows’ that will be provided by SBIC. The workshop closes with our challenge toolkit and a discussion on why it’s vital we challenge, record, and report any incidents of prejudice we see throughout the Trust.

The workshop is currently with the team at SBIC where they are adding their key slides around the ‘Must Knows’ etc. Once that’s done, I have some information about health outcomes I'd like to add and then we're going to look at how we can pilot and evaluate the session with our staff.

Through our partnership working with Healthwatch we are able to advocate the voices of BAME individuals raising their issues and concerns in relation to health inequalities and how better we all can work together to make services meet needs of local BAME communities and individuals.

Abu Sharma, Manager of Sunderland Bangladesh and International Communities