Ethnic minorities face specific issues around health, which can vary between different ethnic groups. ‘Is Britain Fairer’ (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2015) reported that some (but not all) ethnic groups experience significantly higher levels of ill health and premature death than the rest of the population.
Current issues identified by the Haref Network
The Haref Network is actively working to tackle a number of health-related issues currently affecting our local communities. These include:
- Impact of austerity and Universal Credit on mental health and wellbeing
- Social isolation
- Post-natal depression
- Tackling islamophobia, homophobia and hate crime
- Providing accessible information on services and carer’s support
- People not being eligible for health care or made to feel not welcome in services
- Accessibility issues in health services: making appointments, information and interpreters
- Prevention and early diagnosis of health issues
- Engaging with men more effectively
Wider trends in the UK
‘Is Britain Fairer’ reported that people from the Black/African/Caribbean/Black British ethic group had the highest rate of contact with specialist mental health services and that these groups, and those of Pakistani ethnicity, were more likely to have been compulsorily detained under the Mental Health Act 1983.
Another report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (2016), ‘Healing a Divided Britain’, stated that Black African women had a mortality rate four times that of white women in the UK and that black and minority ethnic women and their babies are more at risk of poor outcomes in maternity.
In the UK, type 2 diabetes is more prevalent among people of South Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean and black African descent than among the white population (DH, 2006). They also tend to progress from impaired glucose tolerance (a precursor) to diabetes more than twice the rate of white populations (Webb et al. 2011).
‘Tackling Poverty’, a report from Kings Fund (2014) found that for some groups more likely to be in poverty, such as black and minority ethnic groups, access to primary care services is good but access to other services including dentistry and acute care is less so. Furthermore, the actual experience of care can be worse even when access is good.