Information And Resources: Site News
- Ethnicity Online is demonstrated at Fifth NSCWDC Stakeholder Event (2 Apr.)
- Ethnicity Online team give presentation at BME Network meeting (16 Dec.)
- Ethnicity Online featured in Independent diversity supplement (28 Nov.)
- Video interviewing of volunteers continues for Ethnicity Online (10 Sep.)
- Dr David Stone visits CBCU's Ethnicity Online project team (29 Jul.)
- Advisory Group 'appointed' for CBCU's ethnicity website project (30 May)
- Ethnicity Online's project manager visits BME Network (20 May)
2 Apr. 04: Ethnicity Online is demonstrated at Fifth NSCWDC Stakeholder Event
The Ethnicity Online website was represented at the Fifth Stakeholder Event of the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Workforce Development Confederation (NSCWDC) on Friday, 2 April, 2004. The event was held in the Millennium Club Suite at Newmarket Racecourse, in Suffolk.
The day was a chance for NHS staff in the region to review recent WDC projects including the highly successful Ethnicity Online resource, which has been developed by a small team based at the Clinical & Biomedical Computing Unit on behalf of the NSCWDC. Increasingly, technology is being used to disseminate information about the work done by the NHS and as a tool to educate, co-ordinate and support staff across the region. Ethnicity Online has been well received as part of this move, as it allows staff and patients alike easy access to a wealth of information about ethnicity issues in healthcare and relevant resources.
The Stakeholder event was attended by Ethnicity Online team members Karen Wells (graphic designer) and Helen Burchmore (content provider), who talked to delegates, listened to feedback and demonstrated the site.
The site has been live since October 2003, and has already received 5000 visitors during the first 3 months of 2004. It is due to be officially launched at the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Diversity Conference on 19 May.
Further funding has just been secured from the NSCWDC for a second phase of development of the website. This development will include the addition of new ethnic groups (both regional and religious), the expansion of the information and resources section, and the translation of the site's content into common locally spoken languages.
Feedback and suggestions of further material for inclusion on the site are always welcomed. Contact the Ethnicity Online team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Audience members listening to one of the presentations.
16 Dec. 03: Ethnicity Online team give presentation at BME Network meeting
On Tuesday, 16 December, 2003, three members of the Ethnicity Online website team attended a BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) Network meeting, chaired by Brian Ireland (SCOPE), at Victoria House (Capital Park, Fulbourn, Cambridge). The team were invited to the afternoon meeting to give a brief overview of the new website Ethnicity Online.
Ethnicity Online has been developed on behalf of the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Workforce Development Confederation by a small project team based at the Clinical & Biomedical Computing Unit. The aim of the website is to help raise cultural awareness in healthcare (for more information, see recent news stories).
Although it has yet to be launched officially, the site has been receiving an increasing number of visitors since it went live in September, 2003. Feedback on the site is welcome, and will be used to inform its future development, which is dependent on additional funding. To date, feedback has generally been extremely encouraging. The site's official launch will be on 19 May, 2004, at the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Diversity Conference – a one-day conference at Chilford Hall, Linton, Cambridgeshire.
As well as giving a presentation on Ethnicity Online , team members Sue Danson, Helen Burchmore and Karen Wells took the opportunity to answer questions about the site and distribute publicity material (leaflets and posters are available on request from email@example.com).
Four members of the Ethnicity Online website team (from left to right): Karen Wells (website design and creation), Sue Danson (project management), Helen Burchmore (content creation) and Rosemary Boddington (editing), who was unable to attend the meeting.
28 Nov. 03: Ethnicity Online featured in Independent diversity supplement
Ethnicity Online – a new website that aims to raise cultural awareness in healthcare – was featured in an advertorial in the The Independent newspaper on Friday, 28 November, 2003. Entitled 'Valuing Diversity in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire', the advertorial appeared in a special supplement on diversity. Ethnicity Online is the result of six-months' work on behalf of the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Workforce Development Confederation by a group of website developers based at the Clinical & Biomedical Computing Unit (CBCU), and supported by an eight-member Advisory Group (see previous story: 'Advisory Group "appointed" for CBCU's ethnicity website project').
Few can fail to have noticed that the relatively rapid evolution from a predominantly white monoculture into an ethnically diverse society has been accompanied by ignorance and, on occasions, violence. Yet, there is also a widespread determination to embrace diversity, to foster truly equal opportunities and to build a new society founded on mutual understanding and respect. The desire to welcome people of all backgrounds is especially evident in the health services. Typically, those who become doctors, nurses and paramedics deplore prejudice; moreover, many health-service staff are themselves from minority groups. But well-wishing is not enough.
In addition to the support and encouragement that everyone should expect from their employers, staff need access to relevant and up-to-date information. And it is this need that Ethnicity Online is aiming to help address. As well as providing guidance for healthcare staff on caring for patients from different ethnic backgrounds, it also aims to help staff understand how their own ethnic background might influence their day-to-day practice. The site, which has been live since September, will be formally launched in May 2004 (publicity leaflets are available on request from firstname.lastname@example.org). Feedback on the site is welcome and, so far, it has generally been favourable; all comments received will be used to inform its future development.
Most of the site's content is housed in four main sections.
- The 'Good Practice Guidelines' section provides a 'one-stop shop' for general advice on providing a culturally aware service.
- The 'Ethnic Groups' section includes more-specific guidance on caring for patients from five, randomly chosen, religion-based ethnic groups (Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims and Sikhs). The information includes a comprehensive summary of the ethnic groups' beliefs and customs, together with healthcare-related advice, and a glossary explaining unfamiliar words, phrases and concepts.
- The 'Video Interviews' section includes video and audio clips of volunteers talking about their personal experiences – either as a practitioner or a patient – of different aspects of healthcare. One of the interviews is in Gujarati; another is with Dr David Stone, Joint Chair of the Advisory Group (see previous story: 'Video interviewing of volunteers continues for Ethnicity Online').
- The 'Information and Resources' section provides links to a range of additional information sources including: recent articles and reports; calendars showing the festivals, holidays and important dates of many ethnic and religious groups; where to buy a range of multi-cultural resources; legal guidelines; useful training materials and reference books; and links to a host of relevant websites.
Although the website is intended primarily as a resource for students and healthcare staff, it is freely available to the public. In addition, its developers have ensured the site has the widest possible access. The use of web standards ensures it is compatible with all modern browsers, including small-screen mobile devices and audio readers, but does not exclude those using older technologies. The site aims to comply with the best accessibility guidelines; for example, a mouse is not required for navigation. As many users are likely to be connecting over slow modems, the site has also been designed for fast loading – even its multimedia content.
The original idea for the website was conceived in the course of a discussion between Dr Jem Rashbass, Director of CBCU, and Dr David Stone, Medical Director of Papworth Hospital NHS Trust (and former Associate Dean at the Cambridge Clinical School). Dr Stone had already set up a Cultural Liaison Group for clinical students but had found that the knowledge acquired by the group was difficult to disseminate. The idea of a website offered the possibility of involving a broader audience including both the public and people in disciplines other than medicine.
10 Sep. 03: Video interviewing of volunteers continues for Ethnicity Online
Since joining the Ethnicity Online project team in early August, Krishna Sidhpura has been producing a series of video interviews for the Ethnicity Online website, which aims to further cultural awareness in healthcare. So far, four volunteers, each of whom have personal experience – either as a practitioner or a patient – of different aspects of healthcare, have been interviewed. All of the volunteers are also representatives of one of the ethnic groups featured on the website, and have kindly agreed to their interviews being recorded on video and included on the website, to help 'bring it to life'.
On Wednesday, 10 September, 2003, it was the turn of Ms Arani Chandrakumar (a fifth-year medical student on the Cambridge Clinical Course) to be interviewed by Krishna at CBCU. The three other volunteer interviewees were Dr David Stone (a medical doctor, and co-Chair of the Ethnicity Online Advisory Group), Mr Babulal Sidhpura (an NHS patient, who has recently had to take early retirement on medical grounds) and Mrs Suman Sund (a healthcare worker).
Each interviewee was asked a 'customised' series of questions relating to their personal circumstances and covering topics such as: personal information, personal experience of healthcare, cultural beliefs and practising healthcare, conflict between cultural beliefs and healthcare, current and future practices, and cultural differences. Once recorded, the video footage is cut into individual clips of each question asked during the interview and the interviewee's answer. These individual clips are then processed separately to produce four different formats: low- and high-quality video versions, an audio version and a transcript version.
29 Jul. 03: Dr David Stone visits CBCU's Ethnicity Online project team
On Tuesday, 29 July, 2003, Dr David Stone, Medical Director of Papworth Hospital NHS Trust (and a former Associate Dean of the Cambridge Clinical School) visited CBCU to meet members of the Ethnicity Online project team. Funded by the National Health Service, through the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Workforce Development Confederation (WDC), the Ethnicity Online project is developing a website to support the training of healthcare professionals.
Despite the ethnic diversity of today's society, NHS staff currently receive limited training on how cultural differences affect the provision of healthcare – a deficiency that the Ethnicity Online website aims to help address. Once launched, the freely accessible website will provide healthcare staff – and interested others – with guidance on caring for patients from different ethnic backgrounds. It also aims to help healthcare staff understand how their own ethnic background might influence their day-to-day practice.
The project team are being guided by an external Advisory Group that is jointly headed by Dr Stone and Mr Cliff Walker (who is a Justice of the Peace, Deputy to the Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire and a member of numerous community associations). During the lunchtime visit to CBCU, Dr Stone met with Sue Danson (Project Manager), Helen Burchmore (Content Developer) and Karen Wells (Learning Technologist) and discussed how the six-month pilot project – which began in April – is progressing. Specifically, they discussed Judaism, the website discussion forum and plans for the official launch of the website in October.
30 May 03: Advisory Group 'appointed' for CBCU's ethnicity website project
Following the issue of invitations by Jem Rashbass (Director of CBCU) in March, an eight-member Advisory Group has now been recruited, to guide and oversee CBCU's ethnicity website project. The six-month project, which is being funded by the National Health Service, through the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Workforce Development Confederation, began in April, and will culminate in the launch of a pilot website in October.
The aim of the 'Ethnicity Online' website is to improve cultural awareness in healthcare. NHS staff generally receive little training on how cultural differences affect the provision of healthcare. Once launched, the freely accessible website will provide a useful resource to support the training of healthcare professionals. Specifically, it will provide healthcare staff – and interested others – with information on different ethnic groups, and guidance on caring for patients from such backgrounds.
The Advisory Group will be co-chaired by Dr David Stone (Medical Director of Papworth Hospital NHS Trust, and former Associate Dean of the Cambridge Clinical School) and Mr Cliff Walker (Justice of the Peace, Deputy to the Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire and member of numerous community associations).
The six other group members are: Ms Julia Bielicki (Phase III clinical student, Cambridge University), Dr Huw Jones (Postgraduate Dean, Eastern Deanery), Dr Tessa Muncey (Course Director, Homerton School of Health Studies), Dr John Perry (General Practitioner and Director of Studies for General Practice, Cambridge University), Mr David Wherrett (Director of Workforce Development, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire WDC) and Mr Andy Yacoub (Diversity Manager, Suffolk County Council).
20 May 03: Ethnicity Online's project manager visits BME Network
Following an invitation from the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Network Group, Sue Danson (Project Manager) took the opportunity to advertise CBCU's Ethnicity Online project at their conference on Networks and Diversity.
The conference was held at Chilford Hall, Linton, and took place on Tuesday, 29 April, 2003. Among the delegates Sue met during the lunch break were Mrs Janet Martin (Director of Scope and Chair of the conference), Ms Tehmina Hammad (Equality project Manager, Addenbrooke's NHS Trust) and Mrs Geeta Pankhania (Ethnicity and Equality Manager, Greater Peterborough Primary Care Partnerships).
At a subsequent meeting of the BME Network on Tuesday, 20 May, 2003, Sue presented an outline of the project and its aims, and reported on progress to date ( view project presentation in PDF).
Interest in the project at both these events was very encouraging, particularly from Geeta Pankhania, who has developed a Cultural Awareness Resource Pack, and kindly agreed to content from the pack being used on the website.