Case studies

The following case studies highlight initiatives targeted at people from black and minority ethnic communities to improve services:

Health Improvement Activities with Asian Women in Coventry

What

A dedicated women´s health worker was appointed to work directly with Asian women using a targeted needs led approach, based within their own neighbourhoods and supporting them to take control of their own lives.

Why

Coventry has a large and growing ethnic population, estimated to be 22 per cent at the last census, half of which are of Asian origin. 126 languages are spoken in the city. One of the issues of concern was the health of minority ethnic women, in particular Asian women. Evidence from national and local data show they have very low attendance rate for health screening, issues around nutrition, obesity and diabetes and concerns relating to infant mortality.

How

Areas of work led by the dedicated worker include:

  • leading on focus groups with local women to discuss issues around meeting their needs and service provision
  • working closely to empower the women in making informed decisions regarding their own and their families´ health and wellbeing
  • providing training, education and support to other partner agencies on issues relating to women´s sexual health, particularly those from ethnic communities
  • providing equalities, culture and diversity training for GP frontline staff
  • supporting women attending for IVF, Genito-Urinary Clinic and hospital investigative treatment relating to gynaecological and/or cervical cancer screening
  • visiting places of worship to gain the trust of women by meeting them where they feel safe to provide advice, support and signpost them to other services.

Progress

Key highlights include:

  • This initiative established a successful cervical screening project and weekly ‘drop in’ clinic in a GP practice. This increased uptake by 76 per cent in women attending cervical screening and helped to turn the practice from a ´poor´ to a ´top´ performer (drop-in clinics are now being rolled out to other GP practices).
  • Diversity, equalities and cultural training provided to front-line GP staff and practice managers, funded by the West Midlands Cancer Intelligence Unit.
  • Using evaluation as part of health impact assessment by external consultants and as a result of the success of this work, the project became jointly funded by Coventry PCT and rolled out to include all women who are identified as disadvantaged.
  • Increased understanding that knowledge of individual cultures and communities can make a real difference for health practitioners working with ´hard to reach´ people living in priority areas. The design and delivery of the project needs to be tailored to the specific needs of the client group.
  • The project informed the development of other health interventions such as those targeting men´s health.
For further details of this work, contact:
Shashi Carter
E-mail: shashi.carter@coventry.gov.uk

Updated July 2015

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