Reaching out to ethnic minorities during the pandemic

Sign warning people to 'stay home' during pandemic lockdown

Claire Fisher from Healthwatch Enfield on the results of its research into how BAME communities have been affected by Covid-19

More than half the people we surveyed from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups in Enfield said that they have not received the help and support they need during the coronavirus pandemic.

This sobering statistic is just one of four key findings established as a result of research we carried out during September and October last year. Our report makes six key recommendations to local health services to ensure that people from BAME communities in Enfield are able to access the care and support they need in future.

We reached 195 people from more than 15 different BAME communities, showing us that each community used different services in different ways. As a result, each group had different views about the support they need. Contrary to saying ‘one size fits all’ it is clear that, in the case of communicating health information, this is not the case.

Comments we received showed that there is a lack of trust in the system, based on people’s previous experiences of giving feedback, only to see no action resulting from their efforts.

You can read our recommendations online in full as part of our report One Size Does Not Fit All: Moving Towards Delivering Culturally Competent Services. To summarise here, we recommend that investment is needed into culturally competent research and that there is a need to learn from good practice and to link with community radio and television. In addition, an audit of the take-up of translation services in primary care is required, consideration must be given to language and digital barriers to using GP services, and finally there is an urgent need to address concerns and build confidence about vaccines.

We have shared our report with Enfield Integrated Care Partnership; paving the way for the planning of future services includes the voice of BAME residents.

In the meantime, we continue our work to reach out to BAME and refugee communities, to involve them in future research. As a community interest company (not-for-profit) and independent organisation, we rely heavily on the amazing work of our volunteers to help us carry out our research.

We would like to thank our volunteers who helped – if you would like to be involved in this, or any of our other projects, we would love to hear from you.

We are grateful to Enfield Racial Equality Council and Enfield Caribbean Association for partnering with us in this work to reach out to local communities.

For more information about Healthwatch Enfield and to get in touch:
Call 020 8373 6283
Email [email protected]
Facebook /healthwatchenfield
Text 07526 645 683
Tweet @HealthwatchEnf
Visit healthwatchenfield.co.uk