The importance of culturally sensitive healthcare

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is celebrated every year on May 21st. This day is a great opportunity to promote cultural diversity and to recognize the role it plays in public health. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of cultural diversity in healthcare and how it can be celebrated on this day. We want to take this opportunity to take a moment to appreciate the work we put in at Xyla Health & Wellbeing to promote culturally diverse dialogue and development. 

Cultural diversity refers to the differences that exist between different cultures, including their beliefs, values, and traditions. Healthcare is a universal need, and it is essential to provide culturally sensitive care to patients from diverse backgrounds. Cultural diversity in healthcare is important because it helps to improve patient outcomes by promoting better communication, trust, and understanding between patients and healthcare providers. 

There are many ways that healthcare providers can tailor their offerings to accommodate service users from diverse backgrounds, whether this be providing care in their spoken language to ensure accessibility, or tailoring resources to improve engagement. 

At Xyla Health & Wellbeing, our teams work together to ensure that our programmes are accommodating service users from diverse backgrounds. Our specialist Multi-Disciplinary Team creates resources, such as culturally specific meal plans, that service users can use to help improve their diet, and we explore healthy food choices that make sense for all cultures. Many of our programmes can also be delivered in a number of different languages, to guarantee an inclusive approach to providing our health and wellbeing programmes. 

It is important to strive towards culturally sensitive care from the point of engagement through to discharge. Recently, we have focused on engaging potential service users for the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme in Mosques and other cultural hubs in North East and South West London in our Ramadan Pilot. Service users that enrol onto the programme in these areas through these engagement efforts will have a tailored experience of the programme. The aim was to have the sessions run by Health and Wellbeing Coaches from the same or a similar cultural background, so that they are able to resonate with the service users more easily and therefore provide a more engaging programme. 

Maksuda recently completed her Live Well Newham journey in which she was enrolled into a group with other service users from the same cultural background, making her journey thoroughly engaging: 

“Meeting the coach and other participants online, which was delivered in Bengali language, made the session engaging and very enjoyable. The coach was able to relate all the information on a cultural basis and found solutions to all our problems relating to diet and exercise. The personal touch and receiving encouragement from the coach, along with sharing and discussing health issues with other participants in the group, was my favourite part of the programme.” 

All coaches at Xyla Health & Wellbeing have cultural awareness training that is renewed annually to ensure cultural sensitivity throughout the duration of all of our programmes. This training sets the foundation for learning about and valuing different perspectives and backgrounds, and developing empathy that can be carried through the programmes, making our service users feel heard and valued. 

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is an excellent opportunity for healthcare professionals to promote cultural diversity and celebrate its significance in healthcare. Whether it is by raising awareness, creating culturally specific resources or promoting cultural competency, healthcare professionals have the ability to create a more inclusive and patient-centered healthcare system. Let us all continue to work together towards building a more culturally competent and inclusive healthcare system. 

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