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The Muslim Network Health Collaboration is an umbrella organisation for the Muslim networks of Public Health England, NHS Improvement, Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England.

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This month’s edition includes:

Eid al-Adha

Eid al-Adha or Eid Qurban, Qurban Bayrami, Tafaska tameqrant, also called the “Festival of the Sacrifice”, is the second of two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year, and considered the holier of the two. It honours the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God’s command.

The Muslim Network Health Collaboration would like to wish all of our colleagues, members and friends a happy Eid and to celebrate this, the Collaboration will be hosting a virtual Eid celebration on Thursday 6th August 2020. Please do join us for this. The NHS England & Improvement Muslim Network have produced Eid guidance for line managers and staff which can be found on the NHS People’s website. This contains advise for both line managers on what to expect and how to be accommodating to Muslim staff while Muslim staff are encouraged to also read this and assess what actions they need to take to mitigate the impact on the organisations they work for.

Eid message from Duncan Selbie

Eid al-Adha, the Muslim festival marking the culmination of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca and commemorating the sacrifice of Abraham, starts next Thursday after sunset for three days and is a special celebration that brings families, friends and communities together. Despite restrictions on the numbers of people who can safely congregate in places of worship and a two-household limit on indoor gatherings, religious festivals can still be observed. Thank you to everyone who is doing their best to adapt and be flexible at this difficult time and faith leaders will be able to advise on the best approach locally. Colleagues will be able to access a toolkit, which will be available later today, containing print-ready and digital assets to help promote a safe Eid, and we have also published this blog. For those celebrating I wish you an Eid Mubarak. – Best wishes Duncan

From July 25

The Blackburn with Darwen and Luton local authorities have agreed that increasing rates of coronavirus in the areas means further measures are required to prevent further transmission of the virus.

From July 25 indoor gyms, pools, and other sport and exercise facilities will remain closed in these areas until at least the review date. The changes apply to all organisations within the upper tier local authority boundaries of Blackburn with Darwen, and Luton.

New regulations will be signed by the Health Secretary to make the local authority regions exempt from the national changes taking place on 25 July.

Civil Service Muslim Network (CSMN)

The Civil Service Muslim Network (CSMN), in collaboration with the Muslim Network Health Collaboration, have launched a survey to find out more about the experience of Muslim staff working across the Civil Service. It is an essential tool to gather information on the lived experience of colleagues who identify as Muslim and to support the Civil Service aspiration and vision to become the most inclusive employer in the UK.

Statistics show that approximately 3.7% of civil servants (c 18,500) identify as Muslim. We are keen to hear from as many of you as possible.

The objectives of the survey are:

– To understand lived experience

– To use this data to inform the CSMN business plan

– To use findings to support, challenge and collaborate with senior civil servants so that they are aware of the needs and concerns of Muslim staff.

This short anonymous survey will take between 5-10 minutes. All responses will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.

Kickstart your health

A major new campaign is under way to encourage millions of adults to kick start their health and reduce their risk of serious illness, including Covid-19.

The campaign – unveiled as part of the government’s new obesity strategy – encourages adults to introduce changes that will help them work towards a healthier weight, with a suite of free tools and apps supporting people to eat better, drink less alcohol and get active. This includes a new app for the free 12-week NHS Weight Loss Plan, helping people make healthier food choices and learn skills to prevent weight gain.

The current evidence does not suggest that having excess weight increases people’s chances of contracting COVID-19. However, data shows that obese people are significantly more likely to become seriously ill and be admitted to intensive care with COVID-19 compared to those with a healthy BMI.

Alongside mass nationwide promotion, the campaign will specifically target areas and groups that are most affected by obesity and excess weight. Evidence shows the BAME communities are disproportionately affected by obesity as well as COVID -19.

The Better Health campaign is one of a raft of measurement have been revealed as part of the government’s new obesity strategy.

Webinar Domestic Abuse in the Muslim Community

One of our partner organisations, the British Islamic Medical Association, recently held a free online webinar around domestic abuse in the Muslim community. Guest speakers included various scholars and community champions who discussed the issue, the Islamic and legal perspectives, and what support is available for victims.

Safely Preparing for Eid-Al-Adha

As Eid Al-Adha will occur on a Friday this year this presents many challenges Mosque leaders need to prepare for. The Muslim Council of Britain regularly updates their guidance to help Mosques and faith leaders.

Clinical Entrepreneurs Programme

The Clinical Entrepreneurs Programme is a workforce development programme for clinical and non-clinical NHS staff. Established since 2016, the programme aims to provide successful candidates with the commercial skills, knowledge, experience needed for individuals to successfully develop and spread innovative solutions to the challenges they face in the NHS. The programme currently offers mentoring, network, education, resources and development tools to over 500 doctors, dentists and healthcare scientists, nurses and midwives, Allied healthcare professionals and pharmacists.

The Programe is running an accelerated recruitment process between July-October 2020, and the whole process will be conducted virtually, to allow for social distancing. This year, the programme directors are very keen to have a diverse cohort and therefore the Collaboration would encourage all members to consider this opportunity.

Virtual Staff Common Rooms

Colleagues in the National People Team, in partnership with NHS Practitioner Health, have developed virtual staff common rooms for NHS Colleagues form Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities across the NHS. This is an opportunity for our NHS people to come together virtually and to invest some time in supporting each other during these challenging times.

Open to absolutely everyone, although specifically catering to the needs of our NHS staff from BAME communities working with the NHS across England, regardless of job role, organisational context or hierarchy and includes all final year students who have been working on the Covid-19 pandemic.

The common rooms are a safe and supportive environment hosted by an experienced and approved practitioner.

They are one-off meetings for one hour with a maximum of 10 NHS staff – although you are of course able to access them as often as you may feel to be helpful to yourself.

To register, please visit the online events calendar here where you will also see a range of events run by NHS England and NHS Improvement throughout the UK on a variety of topics.

Any queries, please email Events and Engagement Manager: Michelle.Davies9@nhs.net.

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