Recite Me Logo Easy Read and Translation

Across society there are unfair and avoidable differences between the health of different groups of people. Cambridgeshire Community Services is committed to working to reduce those inequalities.

Here are some examples of the work going on across our organisation.

Supporting South Asian communities to access diabetes education programmes

(Luton Adults’ Integrated Community Diabetes Service)

Our diabetes services offer educational programmes, in English, Urdu and Bengali, to help people with diabetes manage their condition at home. However, take-up was low, especially within our Bengali and Urdu speaking populations.

To address this, volunteers were recruited to contact patients who had not responded to written invitations to diabetes education sessions. Their role is to discover any barriers to accessing the sessions, encourage attendance and assist with booking onto the programme. The volunteers recruited spoke either English, Bengali or Urdu and so were able to communicate with patients in their chosen language. This helped to make the education programme more relevant and inclusive for South Asian patients. In 2023-24, the diabetes education volunteers made almost 300 phone calls, which resulted in almost 170 successful bookings for sessions.

A dedicated instructional video was also created, featuring two female Urdu speakers and developed with input from patients, volunteers and support workers.

These efforts resulted in a 30% increase in bookings for the education sessions.

One of our diabetes education volunteers Leah Mbaje also won a 2023 valuing our volunteers award for her positive impact.

Collaborating across schools and health services to improve asthma care

(Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Community Asthma Team)

Childhood asthma can have a significant impact on a child’s quality of life and can even prove fatal. However simple steps can reduce the risks and help families better understand and manage the condition.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Integrated Care System (ICS) was successful in securing funding for an NHS England scheme, which in turn supported the Cambridgeshire Community Services community asthma team to run the pilot.

Initially the pilot focused on Wisbech, Fenland and Peterborough, and the Community Asthma Team identified the health services within those areas where childhood asthma indicators were poorest. They engaged with eight medical practices and 10 pharmacies, offering support and providing asthma care toolkits – which received good feedback from families.

The team also visited 11 Fenland schools and four Peterborough schools to provide guidance on asthma management and help them become Asthma Friendly Schools. Becoming an Asthma Friendly School means schools have a better understanding of asthma, promote asthma education and encourage good asthma management and good air quality. These schools also ensure that they have personalised action plans for all pupils with asthma, and store inhalers and spacers for children on site.

The community asthma team is now working on presentations for school assemblies, to educate and empower students with knowledge about asthma triggers, symptoms, preventive measures and helping them know what to do if their friend has an asthma attack. They are also supporting parents and carers through webinars, videos, and web information.

In the new school-term year, the team is looking to extend the programme to other schools in Peterborough.

Increasing the accessibility of our websites

(Across all areas of Cambridgeshire Community Services)

Websites can be a fantastic way for you to get information about our services, read guidance to help you care for yourself or a family member at home or to find how to reach us. However, some people may find web information difficult to access due to visual impairments, disabilities or if English isn’t their first language.

While our sites have used various tools to make them more accessible, in 2019 we started introducing the much more comprehensive assistive toolbar, Recite Me. We completed the roll out across all our websites in 2021.

Recite Me includes:

  • A screen reader which reads text aloud
  • Reading support tools, such as a ruler, magnifier and a dictionary
  • The ability to customise the website’s colour scheme, as well as the texts, font style and size
  • Real-time translation, which translates web content into more than 100 languages, including 35 text-to-speech voices.

Depending on the site, between 1% and 6% of our website visitors now use our Recite Me tool. In total, more than 35,000 pages have been accessed using it in the last year. The two most popular functions are the screen reader and translation.

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