Three new reports have been prepared by three Sussex community-based organisations to help “Turn information into action” and provide a more independent view on what people are really saying and doing about COVID.
These organisations, Trust for Developing Communities and Partners (Brighton and Hove), Citizens Advice Bureau (Crawley) and Hastings Voluntary Action (Hastings), have presented their findings and recommendations and are being reviewed by the Sussex Health and Care Partnership (SHCP) Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Disparity Programme and will result in a list of short- and long-term actions to form part of the legacy of the programme.
These recommendations have also been reviewed by an oversight group consisting of Local Authorities, Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations, an interpreting service organisation and Clinical Commissioning Group staff.
As part of the main work of the SHCP BAME Disparity Programme, three priority areas were identified where higher than average numbers of ethnically diverse populations lived (Brighton and Hove, Crawley and Hastings) and where activities for these reports would predominantly take place.
The three organisations were commissioned specifically to reach the BAME communities and explore experiences of ethnically diverse groups’ access of information about COVID-19, experience of the NHS, and experience of COVID-19. Recognising that wider socio-economic factors can impact on health the scope was extended to incorporate experience of lockdown, sense of wellbeing, experience of working during lockdown and treatment and testing of COVID-19.
The commissioned organisations completed a range of different activities in each of their designated areas, including 208 interviews, 7 focus groups and over 420 survey responses- engaging in total with over 600 Sussex people. These activities were supported by interpreters of over 12 different languages. The information was analysed and each organisation produced a final report with a set of core recommendations, and the following clear themes emerged:
The completed actions and impact will be shared through the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website with local ethnically diverse organisations and communities in Sussex.
In addition, further funding has been agreed to build on community engagement to be used for solution focussed work related to the information already gathered in the reports. Established partnerships, including those within District and Borough Councils, NHS partner organisations and the local VCS will be deployed to ensure a joined up, collaborative, approach for this element of the project.
Continuing to hear from ethnically diverse people and communities living across Sussex remains a priority; actions are underway to link with existing local initiatives and projects to broaden the reach. This will help identify any further gaps in feedback, help us reach and understand the views and experiences of pockets of ethnically diverse communities across Sussex to help focus actions and respond to needs and reduce existing health inequalities.