“ELHT is showing a big commitment to the health of their diverse communities of East Lancashire.”

ELHT works in partnership with others to improve the care and services it provides. It is part of the Health Equity Alliance which includes local organisations such as Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council. Yasir Abdelhadi is the Public Health Specialist Registrar and explains the importance of this partnership.

He said:

Health equity is making sure that the NHS is accessible to everyone; no matter where you live, what you look like or what language you speak. Health equity is achieved when everyone has the means to receive fair treatment so they can attain full potential for health and wellbeing.  

Yasir Abdelhadi We are proud to be part of it and together with ELHT and others we have implemented strategies where changes are already showing increased engagement and improvement in the health of our diverse communities who are reluctant to ask for help or struggle to interact.

We work to ensure our services are being provided with equity in mind. We review service data to make sure all our patients’ needs are being met, ensuring no one is left behind.

The Outpatients Department has posters displayed (in different languages) advertising our interpretation services for those patients who don’t speak English as their first language. Many missed appointments, or ‘no shows’ are to do with a language barrier so this way the patient can be assured that they and the medical person can speak via an interpreter. This will reduce the missed and no shows appointments and allow the patient to be seen – and heard – and put their health first.

We have also found that engaging more on social media attracts the younger community who again, for whatever reason, may feel reluctant to see a health advisor or attend their appointment.

Our goal is to provide equitable care to whoever walks through the hospital doors and make sure that that person is given care according to their health and the needs of them too.

We are shifting to a more holistic approach and making sure the needs of the person are what matter. It’s exciting times and together, we will make a difference.