Asthma care initiative nominated for NHS Parliamentary Award | News

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Asthma care initiative nominated for NHS Parliamentary Award

Simon Lightwood MP pictured with Dr Llinos Jones, in front of Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield.

Pictured: Wakefield MP Simon Lightwood and Dr Llinos Jones

As we mark asthma awareness month we’re delighted to share the news that Simon Lightwood, Member of Parliament for Wakefield, has nominated ‘Straight Talking Initiative - Making Asthma Care More Equitable’ led by Dr Llinos Jones at Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust for The Health Equalities Award at the NHS Parliamentary Awards.

Launched in 2021, the project, which was funded by a grant secured through the NHS Accelerated Access Collaborative’s ‘Pathway Transformation Fund’, aimed to tackle language, literacy and cultural barriers for patients with asthma whose first language isn’t English, in a bid to break down health inequalities across the region.

As part of the initiative, the team worked with the University of Huddersfield, Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network, as well as a number of stakeholders from the South Asian community (Neighbourhood Matters, Ravensthorpe Community Centre and the Indian Muslim Welfare Society, based at the Al Hikmah Centre in Batley), alongside Trust hospital Chaplains. They also worked with Third Sector Leaders Kirklees (TSL Kirklees) who trained community asthma champions so that they could improve local people’s knowledge of asthma and their confidence in seeking help.

The team and community members worked collaboratively to coproduce a suite of multilingual resources which are now widely available across the UK.

Simon Lightwood, Wakefield MP, said: “Asthma affects so many people in Wakefield and this team is doing amazing work to improve equity of access to information and ensure asthma suffers get the care they need no matter what background they are from.

“The work the team have undertaken will go a long way to improve equality in Asthma care and treatment and it’s a real privilege to nominate them for the NHS Parliamentary Awards.”

Dr Llinos Jones, Respiratory Consultant at Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust, said: “It’s been a real pleasure working with the team, and our fantastic community champions have been so very welcoming and enthusiastic about spreading messages within our communities.”

Amongst those who have worked collaboratively with the team, Third Sector Leaders Kirklees (TSL Kirklees) provided vital training to community members to become ‘asthma champions’, providing support to help people manage their asthma and overcome cultural or language barriers.

Bridget Hughes, Supporting Communities Lead at TSL Kirklees, said: “The community champions and their organisations know their communities very well and are really trusted by local people. They have done some fantastic work in getting vital information about asthma and treatment to people who might not otherwise receive it because of cultural or language barriers. TSL is proud to support the champions and to have been involved in this much needed project.”

Dr Jones continued: “The response to the project has been phenomenal. Equity of access to treatment and information about asthma is something we’re deeply passionate about.

“Working together, we can continue to level inequalities, and to improve asthma management for all patients. There are many new and very effective treatments for asthma, and patients don’t need to suffer in silence.”

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