Sure Start is a United Kingdom Government Initiative and was introduced following a Comprehensive Spending Review in 1997 which identified a need for the Government to re-define services for children and allocate monies more effectively. It is a partnership between Health, Education, Social Services and the voluntary Sector and aims to achieve better outcomes for children by improving health, improving the ability to learn, improving social development/ reducing social exclusion.
Swansea is the second city in Wales, a country of 3 million people on the western side of Britain, about 320 kms west of London. The population of Swansea is 260.000, 8500 being of minority ethnic composition. The largest minority ethnic group is the Bangladeshi community, 46%, who have migrated to Swansea since 1953.
The multidisciplinary Team provides a specialist service for this client group and includes a Specialist Midwife and 3 Bengali Link Workers. The service centers around pregnant women, children 0-3 years and their families and young people under 17 years.
The Link Workers work alongside health professionals in order to interpret and raise awareness for staff of cultural and religious issues that might impact on the way the health services are accepted and accessed.
Expert information is given to clients in their own homes, in clinics, hospital and community groups in order to meet their needs in relation to health, pregnancy, childbirth, child development and environmental/social issues that might impact on their lives.
Sure Start identified the need for personnel within Swansea NHS Trust to have an awareness of cultural diversity and have developed a Training Programme which is delivered by members of the Team. This is a combination of questionnaires, presentations, role-play and scenarios and is delivered by the Specialist Midwife and Link Workers to various groups of health professionals in the local University and local Hospitals.
The INTEGRATION Project will provide the means to further develop the training and incorporate e-learning as a tool , so that it can be extended Trust-wide ( to include up to 8000 employees) , in partnership with other colleagues in the Health Service.