Implementing a Consanguinity Outreach Service in Oldham
Davies L, Stephens K. Oldham Council
In response to children from BME communities being over represented in infant and childhood mortality figures, Oldham Council, with support from the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board, decided to commission a Consanguinity Outreach Service to work with local communities.
The service model was developed from a similar service already operating in a nearby authority (detailed in referenced paper). The service aimed to: provide genetic counselling for at risk families; deliver training to increase knowledge of health and social care professionals to provide advice and information to clients; raise awareness about the associated risks in communities affected by consanguinity.
Since April 2016 the service has trained 143 partners who are now working to improve awareness of both patients and professionals. Referrals increased and there has been 100% attendance at genetics counselling. Feedback from communities and referrers demonstrates positive attitude change within families following engagement with the service.
The success of the project is the Genetics Outreach Worker’s ability to understand sensitivities, communicate information clearly and offer appropriate support to families. Early evidence shows that this approach is efficient and successful.
- Khan, G. Kerr, H. Kingston (September 2016) Community engagement education: addressing the needs of South Asian families with genetic disorders. Journal of Community Genetics. DOI 10.1007/s12687-016-0278-0