Berkshire East PCT ... Finding smokers in their comfort zone
Smoking cessation programmes are often less successful among certain BME groups, leading to higher risk of cancer and heart disease. That's why East Berkshire PCT recently commissioned the Cardio-Wellness charity to deliver clinics to the most deprived and disadvantaged groups across Slough.
'Our healthcare professionals deliver the service in a culturally sensitive way, in a number of different languages including English, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi & Polish' explains Leena Sankla, the charity's project director.
'We have set up clinics in easily accessible locations throughout Slough, such as the Observatory shopping centre, places of worship (church, mosque, temples), Polish community centre, teaching centre, pharmacies and GP surgeries. We also provide our clinics at times to suit our patients - such as weekends and evening."
These clinics are for everyone, and we have carefully selected settings that are in deprived areas making it easily accessible by the most in need of such services. We also provide help on healthy eating, weight management, heart disease, and those wanting to stop tobacco chewing. We work on all of the risk factors that contribute towards heart disease and diabetes.
'We must work extra hard with some groups. People in deprived areas, running a tight household budget, won't pay £4.50 a week to stand on a weighing scale. Dieting advice needs to be culturally appropriate. Some women would not pay for an aerobic exercise class - so we make ours free! We even provide Nicotine replacement products free for anybody wanting to quit smoking. 'In 18 months, we have helped 250 people quit smoking. We managed it not by taking people out of their comfort zones, but by going into their comfort zones.'