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Monica has teamed up with the charity in a bid to help break down barriers and the challenges people from the South Asian community face when accessing palliative care services.
Commenting on her new role as ambassador, Monica said: ‘Culturally, there is a huge stigma within the South Asian community surrounding palliative care, from language barriers to ingrained beliefs that families should “care for their own”. I hope that my appointment will allow Compton Care and I to further challenge the actual and perceived barriers faced by my community.
‘My dad was diagnosed with cancer 10 years ago and devastatingly, it came to a stage where there was no further medical intervention available. His symptoms became progressively worse, he was unable to walk and needed round the clock care.
‘My family and I were by his side 24/7, but it was important to us that my dad received the best medical support he could. Compton Care were instrumental in supporting him and my family in his final days, at what was a very distressing and emotional time.’
Monica’s appointment follows a large-scale investigation carried out by Compton Care into the challenges faced by the South Asian community when accessing its services.
The study, which engaged more than 500 members of the South Asian community, was commissioned to break down barriers and help more people benefit from its care.
In response to its investigation, Compton Care has developed a series of industry recommendations, highlighting changes to practice designed to give greater access to services in a wider range of care settings.
This includes: increased investment into community engagement activities; ensuring literature is culturally appropriate and disseminated correctly; appointing dedicated employees to boost engagement with the South Asian community; nurturing and empowering champions and ambassadors responsible for providing support; delivering more personalised care and leading more targeted events for specific communities.
Since completing the study, Compton Care has already begun to implement these changes in its services.
Claire Marshall, CEO at Compton Care said: Compton Care is operating in one of the most diverse areas in the country, but patient data highlighted that we weren’t fully reaching and serving all the full breadth of our community, so it was really important to look at why and how we can change this.’
‘I am delighted to welcome Monica Shafaq to the charity and we all look forward to working with her to better educate and empower those in the South Asian community, while addressing the misconceptions about what we do so that more people will explore how we can help them.’
Compton Care partner with people to embrace life with a complex or incurable condition. Over 70% of the charity’s work is carried out within the community, with teams of clinical nurse specialists, healthcare assistants, and supportive care staff visiting people in their own homes.
Compton Care’s patient and family services are split across two sites: Compton Hall, and The Cedars, and include an 18-bed in-patient unit, day therapies centre, supportive care centre, lymphoedema clinic, and community care teams.
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