Embedding Ambassadors in Community Health. 2013. (accessed 24 July 2014)

2014. (accessed 24 July 2014)

Research Roundup—August 2014

02 August 2014
Volume 22 · Issue 8

Open Dialogue Workshops September 2012 to March 2014, from Embedding Ambassadors in Community Health (EACH) Project East of England LGA

Summary of key findings

This report is the culmination of a 3-year EU-funded project providing frontline NHS staff with interactive workshops. The workshops aimed to develop the cultural awareness of staff when treating migrant women from outside Europe.

The report is an excellent insight into the needs of groups from different cultural backgrounds. The report offers a series of recommendations for medical professionals to consider in light of their commissioning roles, and for others in a position to influence service provision or to advocate for patients.

There are 10 recommendations from the report, which have some relevance to maternity services. These are:

  • Give time to supporting patients through better communication
  • Develop the cultural competence of frontline staff
  • Improve access to interpreters, bilingual staff and patient advocacy, and encourage patients to use all of these
  • Make more translated materials available
  • Be aware of the reluctance of some migrant women to be examined by male staff
  • Make ‘navigating’ around the NHS less complex
  • Review access to secondary care by migrant women and families
  • Promote the uptake of screening services to migrant women
  • Ensure that migrant patients with limited English have comprehensive care
  • Make health improvement opportunities available and promote their uptake in the community.
  • The ‘snowy white peaks’ of the NHS: A survey of discrimination in governance and leadership and the potential impact on patient care in London and England

    Summary of key findings

    This excellent report links the lack of Black and minority ethnic staff at a senior level to patient care. The report proposes that unrepresentative Trust Boards may be less likely to focus on the needs of local communities.

    With reference to maternity services it draws on the evidence from the Public Accounts Committee 2014 and states: ‘The NHS has failed to address persistent inequalities in maternity care. The NHS has had a specific objective to promote public health with a focus on reducing inequalities in maternity care since 2007. However, the latest available data (from 2010) on women's experiences showed black and minority ethnic mothers were less positive about the care they received during labour and birth than white mothers. They were also significantly more likely to report shortfalls in choice and continuity of care. The Department intended to address inequalities through improved early access to maternity care, but data also show regional and demographic inequalities in the proportion of women receiving an antenatal appointment within 12 weeks of conception.’ (Kine, 2014: 47) This report shows how ethnicity is significant for service provision and the workforce and highlights a few cases where discriminatory treatment of black and minority ethnic midwives and mothers have affected care within the NHS.

    The Florence Nightingale Foundation scholarships

    The Florence Nightingale Foundation raises funds to provide scholarships for nurses and midwives to enable them, through study, to promote innovation in practice and to extend their knowledge and skills to meet changing needs.

    Travel scholarships of up to £5000 provide a real opportunity to study practice elsewhere in the UK and/or overseas to enhance patient/user care in the UK. These scholarships are awarded for projects connected with the applicant's field of work and for those which will benefit their patients/users and their profession more widely.

    Travel Scholarships are available to nurses and midwives who have current registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and who work in, and are a resident of, the UK.

    For further details on exciting new opportunities, the criteria for application and how to apply for a scholarship as well as the work of the Foundation, visit or email: