Help is available to South Holland’s eastern European community in their struggle to make the most of NHS services in the area.
Anna Kusztyb, healthy communities officer with Lincolnshire Community Health Services (LCHS) NHS Trust, is helping to break down the “myths” about GP, dental and optical services held by non-UK migrants who have settled in South Holland.
I’m trying to engage with established communities in Lincolnshire in various ways because people respond in different waysAnna Kusztyb, healthy communities officer with Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust
Originally from Poland, Anna took up her post last September and she has made contact with factories, churches and employment agencies to give speakers of Polish, Latvian, Lithuanian and other languages an understanding of the NHS system.
Anna said: “I’m trying to engage with established communities in Lincolnshire in various ways because people respond in different ways.
“I went to a health event at Bakkavor Freshcook in Holbeach St Marks last month where I spoke to occupational health nurses about workers’ access to NHS services and whether they are registered with a GP.
“We also gave out leaflets in 15 different languages about health services in the county because people from abroad will have different expectations of health care and so they won’t necessarily understand the system here.”
Anna’s work across Lincolnshire was highlighted at a Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) conference on Friday run by LCHS in partnership with Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
She said: “I came across someone from Poland who has been living in the UK for ten years, but she has no GP and I asked her how she managed to survive.
“We’re trying to fight the myths about the NHS so people can explain to others from their community what services are available to them.”