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Gypsy and traveller documentary to be an NHS teaching resource

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A documentary depicting the difficulties faced by gypsy and traveller communities looking to access NHS services will be used as an NHS training aid.

From Cradle to Grave was created by Sensei Creative Productions, the media production company of Barnie Choudhary, principal lecturer at the University of Lincoln's School of Journalism, along with two of the school's alumni, Josh Jackson and Oliver Perkins.

The film was commissioned by Kate Davies OBE, the NHS executive lead for prison and offender health and executive lead for equalities in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

The idea for the documentary came after traveller and gypsy communities and patients advised the team that one of the best ways to access the community was through film.

It follows the work that clinical commissioning groups have done on a traveller and GP ambassador project when travellers and gypsies trained and carried out information sessions for health professionals in different organisations in the public and voluntary health sector.

Ms Davies says that there will always be a need to train and support different groups within the NHS. 'This is particularly important for travellers and gypsies who often access their healthcare professionals at A&E and points of crises. The organisation, Gypsylife, has already enhanced the knowledge of clinical commissioning groups, as well as the traveller community about the very complex world of the NHS. It will help in so many ways, including screening, immunisation and, in particular, the MMR programmes,' she said.

'From Cradle to Grave pulls no punches,' said Mr Choudhary. 'It took months of winning the trust of these communities before we could film. It was important that they trusted us, supported the idea and liked the end result. The entire project was a real partnership, from the NHS commissioning a project that highlights potential faults, to those who allowed us to film them, and the way our team worked together.'

The film has been shortlisted for The Diversity Award at the Royal Television Society Midlands Awards.

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