Community events to raise awareness of diabetes

We’re always looking for new and exciting ways to involve patients and the public in our work and this was seen in our recent community diabetes events and empower them to become advocates for health and wellbeing.

The challenge

Diabetes is a serious long term health condition, with many people in our area at risk of developing the condition due to diet and lifestyle. Diabetes is particularly prevalent to the South Asian community, who are up to six times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than Europeans. In fact, whilst South Asians make up just 4% of the UK population, they account for 8% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. 

What we did

One of our recently trained ‘Diabetes Community Champions’ was keen to get the diabetes awareness message out to the congregation at his local temple in Coventry (GNP Gurdwara), so contacted the CCG and local Lions Club charity to organise a community diabetes event to mark world diabetes day.

We also worked with the Head and Neck Consultant Surgeon at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, who approached the CCG about planning a diabetes awareness event at the Ramgharia Gurdwara, in collaboration with the Lion’s Club.

The two events were supported by the CCG to bring together a range of local support services, such as the Healthier You prevention team, Diabetes UK, Prostate Cancer UK and local volunteers.

As well as NHS healthcare practitioners and services being there on the day, we welcomed Dr Bhasha Mukherjee, a British Asian who now wears the crown of Miss England 2019 and is also a doctor in Derbyshire supported the event.

We were honoured to have representation from the Lord Lieutenancy Dr Abdullah Shehu who is also a Neurological Consultant at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, the Mayor of the West Midlands and the West Midlands Combined Authority Mr Andy Street.

All of the speakers gave a different perspective including; what we can do as a community and how to prevent getting diabetes, the important message for patients who have diabetes and how to improve the management of the condition, how primary healthcare and secondary care can help.

The CCG worked with the local community and young people from across Coventry and Warwickshire to produce type 2 diabetes BAME community awareness videos, which were launched at the events – the video can be viewed on YouTube here:

A joint press release was issued to local, regional media and Asian news outlets such as; Radio Panj and World News Television Network (WNTV) News Channel, we included a quote from NHS Coventry and Rugby CCG, George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust and The Lions Charity Club. Posters and flyers were distributed at local businesses and places of worship in the Foleshill and Hillfields area, this was be led by the Lions Club. The Communications and Engagement team at the CCG led on the social media messages via Facebook and Twitter.

Who we worked with

These events were truly collaborative, with many members of the NHS, local community and voluntary sector coming together.

  • Diabetes UK
  • George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust
  • GNP Gurdwara
  • Lion’s Club of Godiva Coventry charity organisation
  • National Diabetes Prevention Programme
  • Prostate Cancer UK
  • Ramgharia Gurdwara
  • Sikh Channel UK
  • University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust

The outcome

The events were highly interactive, fun and engaging. Over 250 people attended GNP Gurdwara, and over 350 attended the event at Ramgharia Gurdwara.

Diabetes screening was offered at the event, with 211 taking part to have their HbA1c blood glucose levels checked. Blood pressure checks were also carried out by NHS volunteers, along with height, weight and waist measurements to help determine people’s body mass index (BMI) to help determine whether they were “at risk” of developing diabetes. One in ten people were diagnosed on the spot as being pre-diabetic, and given expert advice on next steps on how to manage their lifestyle to avoid developing diabetes.

The CCG were also featured on a TV show highlighting its work in the community and advising people on how to prevent getting diabetes. The show was a live interview and broadcasted across the world. The interview was conducted in both Punjabi and English to accommodate the viewers. So far there have been 4,700 views, 130 comments/likes and 20 shares of the live footage.

Our sincere thanks and gratitude to the members of Coventry Mercia Lions Club, especially Lion President Karam Bhairaj (NHS Diabetes Community Champion), Lion Vice President Davinder Prasad, Lion Rakesh Sachdev and Lion Ravinder Sandhu who were instrumental in organising the event in partnership with the NHS.

Next steps

The CCG will continue the positive work and community engagement and we have already planned a number of community initiatives to take place over the coming weeks and months.

We are now joining forces with the local Langar Aid Team in Coventry and Warwickshire to help us maximise our reach into our community, with a focus on the homeless, rough sleepers and those living in temporary accommodation as we know their ability to access health information is limited and fragmented.

We have also delivered face to face sessions with a women’s only group at the Ramgharia Gurdwara and will be arranging sessions with the Nepalese community, the Gujarati community, the African Caribbean community and those with learning disabilities during 2020. 

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