Health bus rolls up to Doncaster’s Conversation Club

healthbusNo ticket was required to board the Health Bus as it visited Doncaster’s Conversation Club, a weekly drop-in session for refugee and asylum seekers in the borough.

The bus, provided by Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) rolled up at the support group, which takes place at the Quaker Meeting House, to promote health information and screening for infections.

A team of nurses operated the Health Bus throughout the day, offering general health advice as well as screening for diseases detected within the blood such as tuberculosis. Having accessed the service a Sudanese user of the Club described the advice given as being: “very helpful and informative.”

The Health Bus was introduced to help promote wellbeing in the refugee community and to also make sure that any existing illness is caught quickly and treatment delivered to minimise any associated risks.

The group, supported by NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), meet each week to provide advice, guidance and signposting around a wide range of issues, such as: accessing mental and physical health services, providing peer support for those who may be isolated and supporting clients to integrate more effectively by teaching English language skills.

The Conversation Club is run by a group of enthusiastic volunteers which include a retired GP, as well as nurses and teachers who work in partnership with other organisations and charities based within Doncaster.

Curtis Henry, Equality and Engagement Officer at the CCG said: “Community resources like this are crucial for migrant populations as they assist with issues of integration, as well as encouraging and supporting clients to gain confidence and some of the necessary social skills to become a valued member of society.

“We often find that physical and mental health in seldom heard communities such as this one are overlooked and clients may slip through the net of services. Organizing a visit from partner organisations such as RDaSH and the Health Bus is a fantastic development and helps us promote health in the community as well as reaching those harder to reach groups.”

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