The leadership of the Nishkam Group had a vision, a dream, a passion to make health more equitable in a deprived inner-city area of Birmingham.  So, 10 years ago the Nishkam Healthcare Trust (NHT), based on Soho Road, Birmingham was launched.

The NHT’s proposition is unique – it was not vying to compete with the NHS, but to compassionately complement it and enable services to be more accessible to so many disenfranchised residents who feel out of touch.

In line with its values, to mark the momentous occasion of being one decade old, celebrations will be held on Wednesday 18th January for all, which will include free health checks and the opportunity to speak to dentists, GPs and pharmacists and integrative counsellors about healthy living, and an array of refreshments.

Since its launch in 2013, Nishkam Healthcare Trust has made great strides by innovatively improving the health and wellbeing of its local population in Handsworth, which is in top 1.6% most deprived neighbourhoods in the country. The NHT, which forms part of the Nishkam Group of Organisations, was launched with the ethos of faith-inspired, values-led care embedded in clinical practice, and houses a dental service, pharmacy and mental and emotional wellbeing service for the local community, in order to deliver holistic person-centred care.

Collaboration is key to achieving better equality and making sure no one is left out. Nishkam Healthcare Trust have spent the last decade partnering with national and local healthcare organisations and charities to ensure joined-up thinking. An example of this is the partnership with Modality & Peoples Health Partnership on an innovative project to reduce cardiovascular risk as well to address other social determinants of health. A Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Service offering blood pressure checks and blood glucose testing takes place at Nishkam Pharmacy on a daily basis, and this includes weekly group consultations run by GPs volunteering to serve the local population.

Nishkam Healthcare Trust was launched to address the communication and cultural gap between clinical practitioners and patients, and the motto underlining the services has been ‘Caring with compassion, Helping with humility and Listening with love’. This principle has proved immensely successful with a busy community pharmacy, and a pay-what-you-can-afford dental service designed to appeal to the goodness in humanity and where clinical staff work on a volunteer basis, dedicating their time and expertise to provide high quality expert dental care for our patients. Between January and June 2022, Nishkam Mental and Emotional Wellbeing Service delivered 189 free sessions of counselling to nearly 40 service users, demonstrating the unique ways in which faith-based organisations can deliver on responsibilities in their local communities.

Dr Manvir Kaur Hayer, Renal Consultant and chair of Nishkam Healthcare Trust said: “This is a major landmark for the Nishkam Healthcare team and I am proud to say, they are doing an amazing job. The team goes above and beyond to help improve health outcomes and assist other partners to address deep-rooted health inequalities.

“The model created is ambitious, innovative and, right now, very much needed. We need greater access into communities, the whole ethos of the Integrated Care System is to do what is being modelled right here in Birmingham – we are trail-blazing as always. I wish all of the Nishkam Healthcare team every success for the coming decades.” On their 10th anniversary celebration event, Nishkam Healthcare Trust are sending an open invitation to all – no RSVPs are required, just turn up and see what is being done. We look forward to seeing you there.