Leaving nobody behind
Our targeted work for vaccination has been part of a wider Covid-19 recovery plan, ensuring we maximise on any community programmes to support other key areas of health such as ‘know where to go’ to access services, health checks, mental health advice and support and information on signs of cancer.
This work has included a wide range of communities across Frimley, tailored to understand how to influence, ensure accessibility and in a way that connects with our local people.
Some of the examples of this work are below.
Slough Vaccination Bus
Frimley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) identified the need to look at innovative ways to offer the vaccination for the Slough communities, working alongside our Primary Care Network and local static vaccination sites. We have developed a number of tailored approaches driven by insight data and community feedback.
The two mosque sites from Slough (The Slough Islamic Trust and Jamia Masjid and Islamic Centre) and one mosque from Maidenhead were keen to support the vaccination programme to reach into our diverse communities. The sites offered their premises and communication support, providing a familiar community venue to assist the local community and encourage uptake in a hesitant population. The session can be viewed here.
The mosque sites working alongside East Berkshire Primary Care Out of Hours, were live from 6th April and helped to vaccinate over 500 members of public.
We also developed a series of Mental Health postcards (one tailored for each of our five places across Frimley) which were mailed to every household in Slough to signpost to services for anyone going through a mental health difficulty.
To see the postcards we designed and disseminated across all of the five places in Frimley go to: Mental Health Postcard
The vaccination bus project launched on the 19th of May saw the Health and Wellbeing Slough Wellness Bus visiting key locations in the heart of the Slough community to deliver Covid-19 vaccinations, hosted by Solutions4Health. As part of this initiative, we were also able to offer health checks in conjunction with the vaccination.
The vaccination bus visited locations across Slough providing vaccinations to key community groups, inclusive of faith groups, women only sessions, our homeless community and unregistered population amongst many others.
The service was offered without the need to book, show ID or GP registration, to help support these communities to come forward for their vaccine. The flexibility and ease of access allowed members of the community to get vaccinated with over 3500 people getting vaccinated as a result of this fantastic initiative.
We have also targeted families and younger people with the use of digital boards in Slough shopping centres.
Supporting the Nepali Community – Covid-19 response
As with many local areas Rushmoor was quick to start up a regular partnership meeting, bringing together local authority colleagues alongside health, Citizens Advice, the voluntary council and key community leaders over the course of the pandemic to best support residents.
In the Rushmoor area there is a high percentage of Nepali residents, many of whom live in houses of multiple occupation, have limited knowledge of English and often lack access to or understanding of digital technologies.
The Nepali community was dentified as an at-risk group in the early days of the pandemic and our partners mobilised to put in place tailored support. Working very closely with our Local Authority partners, as part of the North East Hampshire and Farnham Healthier Communities Partnership group, a number of meetings with influential Nepali leaders from the local community took place where they were able to share their insight and provide multiple avenues to share messages with the community. These included via social media networks that we would otherwise be unable to gain access to, YouTube videos, such as the one seen HERE recorded by a nurse at Frimley Park Hospital, and adverts and interviews with health professionals played via Gurkha radio. The messages were designed to ensure people knew how to best take care of themselves and others in their household and family at the height of the pandemic and as restrictions changed.
In December 2020, the national Vaccination Programme began and ensuring the correct information and advice reached the eldest and most vulnerable in the Nepali community became a new priority.
We ensured we had a statement translated on our website that outlined the approach in North East Hampshire and Farnham which was also accompanied by a short YouTube video (made in Liverpool) highlighting the importance of the vaccinations (which can be found on this page).
Practice staff at the Aldershot’s Cambridge Practice also made a local video regarding the importance of receiving the vaccine, which was shared widely on social media and with a wide range of local stakeholders.
Local practices and the council of voluntary service supported by, where possible, ensuring that either Nepalese speaking staff or volunteers were available on vaccination days and that each practice had access to the standard series of questions asked when receiving a vaccination in a translated format.
Accessible information was included on our ICS website in Nepali translations, Easy Read, Large Print and British Sign Language where available and all partners sign posted to this resource.
In addition to the above, a Walk-in vaccination clinic - particularly for the Nepali community, was made available early on in the vaccination drive. It was publicised on Gurkha radio on days when vaccine was available and also shared on Namaste Facebook as well as generally through the practices. The Greater Rushmoor Nepali leaders and Rushmoor Voluntary services were key in supporting the spread of these messages. Those who chose to walk in were supported by Nepali speaking volunteers who stoped and spoke to the patients outside to check eligibility. We found that this route, rather than an official route, was far more effective as the Nepali patients were more receptive to the spoken word and word of mouth through community leaders.
Since this initial work took place we now have a regular weekly meeting with key stakeholders and Nepali leaders to progress work, tackle key/priority issues and to develop longer-term partnerships within the community to drive some of this emergent work forward. Understanding the local issues from the perspective of our partners, alongside what matters to local people, allowed us to identify common priorities and areas of our existing strategy which may need to be refocused.
We continue to validate and review the evidence of the impact on Covid-19 on our Nepali population and consider what additional insight this gives us. This is particularly important when we consider inequality and the broad way in which it can manifest in our communities and reducing healthy life outcomes.
By bringing together the right stakeholders both professionally and from within the community we aspire to test and validate ideas with the ultimate goal of improving access and healthy life expectancy for our communities.