Hospital Staff Develop Cultural Understanding

Hospital staff develop cultural understanding

Issued by Charlotte Farrar
28 November 2007

Nurses and other staff at Dewsbury and District Hospital are taking part in a training course to develop their cultural understanding as part of The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust's continued commitment to meet the privacy and dignity needs of all their patients.

The training has been introduced after Catherine Briggs, hospital matron at Dewsbury and District Hospital, met with members of the black and ethnic minority community including patients, local groups and a local GP to find out what staff can do to further improve patients experience.

Matron Briggs said: “I was very pleased to hear that many of our past patients said that overall they were very happy with the care provided to them at our hospital. Some of our former Muslim patients also suggested that a more informed understanding of the Islamic cultures would help staff to further improve their service.

“In response to these comments I have been working with Moulana Ilyas Dalal, our senior Muslim chaplain at the hospital to develop a training package that will better inform staff of the different cultural and religious needs of patients.

Matron Briggs added: We are committed to providing the highest possible standards of care to every one of our patients and we know that Dewsbury and District Hospital treats a high number of patients from the Muslim community. We always do our best to listen to our patients and are willing to adapt our nursing practices where possible to help patients uphold their cultural beliefs. I'm sure that after this training our staff will have a greater understanding of different cultures and will be in a better position to do this.

The Trust has already made changes to better meet the needs of their Muslim patients and during the training sessions Moulana Ilyas spoke to hospital staff about how they can make small changes to help patients uphold the Islamic faith.

Changes that the hospital has already made for their Muslim patients include:

Positioning the beds of very ill Muslim patients to face Mecca if requested by the patient
Providing shower facilities for patients, as well as bathing facilities
Providing halal meal options for patients.

Beverley Brook from ward 6 at Dewsbury and District Hospital was one of the first members of staff to enrol on the training course.

Beverley said: I found the training session really useful. Although I already knew quite a lot about the Islamic faith, this gave me a greater understanding on how we can make small changes on a daily basis that will really make a difference to our Muslim patients. I'll be taking everything that I learnt back to my colleagues on the ward.


Notes to editors

The term Moulana in the Islamic culture refers to a well regarded leader or patron.

Issued by Charlotte Farrar
01924 213851