Mental health team wins award for work with Bengali community in Tower Hamlets

A mental health team in Tower Hamlets has been applauded for its work with the Bengali Community, wo

A mental health team in Tower Hamlets has been applauded for its work with the Bengali Community, working with the East London Mosque and the Alzheimer's Society. Pictured is Alzheimer's Society dementia advisors Shammi Uddin and Khaled Hassan and project lead Dr Ellen Khan. Picture: ELFT. - Credit: ELFT

A team of mental health professionals working with the East London Mosque in Tower Hamlets have been praised for their work in the Bengali community.

The applause came at the National Older Peoples' Mental Health and Dementia Awards, which are run by a national organisation led by service users and includes organisations like the NHS, police forces and front line charities.

Also working with the Alzheimer's Society, the borough's service for elderly residents was praised for its efforts to fix inequalities among older people suffering from mental health issues or dementia.

"The dementia team had the language skills and cultural understanding of the specific group to complement the clinicians' skills to create a successful piece of work in Tower Hamlets," said Khaled Hassan, BAME dementia support worker at the Alzheimer's Society.

"The team have worked together to make constant efforts to improve services and to engage with the community."

The team is called the Tower Hamlets Mental Health Care of Older People Psychology Service and is run by the East London Foundation Trust (ELFT).

It operates through the Bengali Cognitive Stimulation Therapy group, making sure care is available for people from the Tower Hamlets Bengali community.

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Another team from ELFT netted Dementia Team of the Year at the awards for its improvements to patient care.

That department was the Occupational Therapy team based in Mile End Hospital's Columbia ward.

Carmel Stevenson is associate director of nursing for older people's services at ELFT.

"I nominated the team on Columbia ward and highlighted the innovative work that they undertook in collaboration with City Farm and bringing furry friends onto the ward for service users," she said.

Katrina Tiernan is a lead occupational therapist at Columbia ward: "We are so proud to have won the Older People's Mental Health/Dementia Team of the Year award.

"We would like to thank Carmel Stevenson for nominating us for this national award, in particular for the recognition towards joint working with our local city farm.

"As a team we aim to make our patients experience as positive and person centred as possible. Being supported to do this makes our role all the more easy."