​Age UK Bromley and Greenwich

As part of the CCG extending networks programme, we've been delighted to build on our relationship with Age UK Bromley and Greenwich through meetings and discussions, involving service users and their representatives in our commissioning development plans, patient experience events, as well as ongoing participation in our strategy implementation workshops, particularly around frailty and community-based care.

In 2018 we have valued input from staff and from service users of:

  • Men in Sheds
  • Women in Sheds
  • The okey cokey club

Further developing our networks and an evolving engagement approach

We followed up on conversations with services users to involve people in different ways according to preference and in different fora. Our connections have led us to developing relationships with seldom heard individuals and groups such as the Nepalese community, and target areas and communities of Greenwich. Our connections brought us to develop and deliver events and workshops with Greenwich Pensioners Forum, for example a frailty workshop in October 2018, and with Emergency Exit Arts, in August 2018.

Commissioning engagement and outreach with the Greenwich Nepalese Community

"The Okey Cokey Club has given NHS Greenwich CCG much valued reach and insight with the Greenwich Nepalese community, opening up discussions with a large group of seldom heard people who experience health inequalities and poorer health outcomes than others in the borough.

Working with the community to evolve our engagement and outreach approach has been informative and had a real impact. We've welcomed the opportunity to undertake outreach in different areas of Greenwich, and the chance to have translated individual and group discussions. It's been a pleasure to work with the group and their advocates to understand accessibility needs, and a privilege to learn more and facilitate cultural needs and preferences.

The group were an integral part of the 2018 Greenwich Big Conversation, through which we developed our first integrated strategy. Our feedback event offered an opportunity to continue our conversations.  We are delighted that the three recent cancer workshops have been well-received and successful and are planning the upcoming diabetes workshop. We value our relationship and the support we can offer each other and look forward to continuing our partnership, with the ultimate aim of improving health services and outcomes for local Nepalese people.



NHS Greenwich CCG have reached out to the Nepalese community between 2017 and 2019, to understand people's experience and needs for health services, as well as preferred methods of involvement. There is a strong military history in Greenwich, and approximately 15,000 Gurkha related people are estimated to live in the borough, predominantly based in the Plumstead area. The 2011 census figures had showed a population of 5407 but this is likely to be much higher now.

The early death rate within this community is high compared to the rest of the borough. There is a high prevalence of Type 2 diabetes, hearing problems, stroke, heart conditions, prostate cancer and arthritis. The main barrier to this community accessing healthcare services is communication (the lack of interpretation), as well as lack of awareness of the system.  The community forms opinions and views through peer influence and knowledge and some of the views about the NHS and what services are available are incorrect. Many prefer to travel to Nepal for their medical care.

As well as a number of events and workshops in 2017 and 2018 evolving  in collaboration with the community, the CCG had discussions with representatives and advocates including Age UK Bromley and Greenwich coordinators responsible for social activities with the community, and representatives from the military who work with Gurkha veterans.

The okey cokey club group includes mainly older females, most are wives of Gurkhas. They meet regularly and informally and require information and discussion verbally with translation and not in written form. The CCG broke down information and responses into key bite-sized messages for immediate verbal translation to promote understanding and best meet the needs of the community. The community provided guidance on their communication and access needs, and their preference for a female translator for specific topics. Discussion topics have included:

  • Health and wellbeing needs and issues
  • Cultural and communication needs
  • Experience of and confidence in NHS
  • Commissioning plans and development
  • Feedback on commissioning strategy, and annual review
  • You said, we did including follow up on individual queries, comments and complaints
  • How to engage in the best way
  • Medicines and self-management
  • Cancer screening and awareness

More sessions are planned with the community in 2019 on cancer, diabetes and medication and other conditions, and women's health.