The Health Foundation is seeking applicants for a new leadership development scheme aimed at improving the quality of healthcare for people from black and minority ethnic groups.
The Health Foundation is seeking applicants for a new leadership development scheme aimed at improving the quality of healthcare for people from black and minority ethnic groups. The foundation is looking to recruit six healthcare teams to the scheme, known as shared leadership for change.
The UK's population is becoming increasingly diverse, with almost 10 per cent.of the population coming from BME origins. Evidence from the Department of Health and the Healthcare Commission shows stark health inequalities for BME communities and low levels of satisfaction with the services provided.
The Health Foundation will support teams working with BME groups in an effort to reduce widening inequalities in health outcomes. It will work with teams focussing on service-level issues, such as poor access to care, or diseases that have a high prevalence among BME groups such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and severe mental illness.
Heart of Birmingham Teaching primary care trust health visitor Angela Knight Jackson has been working with The Health Foundation on a project to improve healthcare for BME groups in Birmingham. She says: 'It's recognised that there is poor health among BME communities in the UK. They suffer from higher rates of stroke, coronary heart disease and infant mortality.
'Research suggests that access to healthcare services is difficult for these groups due to institutional racism, negative experiences and lack of information. I believe that it's time for mainstream health services to address these issues and deliver change.'
Ms Knight Jackson has commissioned experts in the field of transcultural nursing to train community public health nurses in Birmingham in cultural competence. 'I think the participants are realising that their own viewpoints have been inhibiting them from seeing the patient's viewpoint and the culture they come from,' she says. 'It's about fostering a tolerance for other people's beliefs and looking at how you can combine the UK's system with the health beliefs and behaviours of other cultures, in order to bring out the best of each.'