Last week, the Barnet Wellbeing Service hosted its quarterly Hub Connections event, bringing together community members, healthcare professionals, and inspiring speakers to raise awareness of Cancer.

The theme of the event, “Closing the Care Gap,” resonated with attendees as they delved into discussions on improving healthcare accessibility and local cancer screening services. Notable speakers, including Councillor Zahra Beg, Stewart Block, Hawa Abdi, and many more, shared their valuable insights.

One of the highlights of the event was the opportunity to connect with the community and gain insights into closing the care gap. The discussions not only shed light on the challenges but also provided valuable solutions. Vanessa Nzekwu, Health Promotion Lead and Deputy Programme Manager for the Bowel Cancer Screening Centre at University College London Hospitals, shared her thoughts when I had the privilege of having a chat with her, on the crucial role of communities in narrowing the care gap.

She emphasised the importance of community involvement in healthcare initiatives. According to Vanessa, community organisations play a pivotal role in making healthcare more approachable and accessible to individuals.

In her words:

“Basically, it’s they are more approachable, so you’ve got the bigger boards and then you’ve got the community itself who reach out to the people themselves, so I think it closes the gap. The community organisations are more approachable than bigger organisations, so they are able to connect with individuals on a face-to-face level. I think that’s an important thing for closing the gap.”

Vanessa’s insights highlight the significance of community organisations in establishing a more approachable healthcare system. While larger organisations may have extensive resources, community groups have the advantage of being embedded within the local fabric, allowing them to connect with individuals on a personal level. This approach not only fosters trust but also encourages people to actively engage with healthcare services.

Our Hub Connections event provided a platform for meaningful discussions on closing the care gap. It demonstrates the role of community organisations, such as Barnet Wellbeing Service, and serves as a valuable reminder that bridging the care gap requires a collaborative effort. As we reflect on the insights shared during the event, it becomes clear that building stronger connections between healthcare providers and local communities is essential for creating a more inclusive and accessible healthcare system.

Make sure to follow along with the work the Barnet Wellbeing Service team are doing with the North Central London Cancer Alliance campaign by keeping an eye on their social media!

The grant they have received is specifically tailored to enhance awareness of cancer signs, encourage screening attendance, and underscore the critical importance of early diagnosis in alignment with helping to close the care gap.

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