The idea was put forward at the Birmingham Diabetes Summit, held this week, where experts debated how prevention and management of diabetes in the local South Asian community could be improved.
Jill Hill, a diabetes nurse consultant at Birmingham East and North PCT, said that pilot studies had shown that the use of link workers was ‘very helpful' for nurses.
‘A lot of nurses in Birmingham are unable to communicate with South Asian patients so the use of link workers who can speak the language is useful.'
Ms Hill said that it was important for nurses to explain to South Asian patients the benefits of weight loss, and to take into account the fact that South Asian men have a lower BMI cut-off for obesity than white males.
‘Not all nurses will know this. It depends very much on how many South Asian patients you deal with at your practice,' she added.