Leeds GATE

Working to improve the quality of life for Gypsies and Travellers

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The Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Community Health Needs Assessment

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  June 25, 2013 |

Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Community Health Needs AssessmentWe're very glad to be releasing at last the Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Community Health Needs Assessment which you can find here.  This was not an easy project to complete, coming as it did at a very difficult time for Leeds GATE.

Just as we were beginning this work we discovered that our colleague Kathleen Morrison was unwell.  Kathleen passed away after a battle with cancer in March 2012, leaving her family and community bereft.  There is obviously no doubt here at Leeds GATE that work to improve health outcomes for Gypsies and Travellers is vital and we hope that the report will be widely read, and its recommendations acted on.

Some of the recommendations of the CHNA have been around for a while.  How hard can it really be to include Gypsies and Travellers in monitoring data collection?  It is now two years since Gypsies and Travellers were included as categories in the ONS Census, and yet we are still waiting for services to include us in their data collection. The CHNA recommends targetted action to address this lack of inclusion.  Could your service make a start?  Want a bit of advice on how to broach the subject?  Call us.

Men's health is a continuing concern.  Its no good blaming men for not engaging with services, how much work has really been done to make them inclusive and convenient for men?  We've got some ideas about this and hope to start with a presence at the Lee Horse Fair in September.  Maybe your service would like to join us there? Again, don't hesitate to call.

Perhaps the most surprising, and pleasing, finding of the research was about the positive role that pharmacies and their staff are already playing in supporting Gypsies and Travellers to look after their health.  We were genuinely surprised to find that local chemists have no problems offering appropriate advice, overcoming illiteracy and even making deliveries of prescriptions to the local site.  Is this good practice that your service could be copying?  Perhaps you are a local chemist who is already providing a good service which you are interested in developing and sharing?  We think this would be just fantastic and we are definitely here to help. You know what to do!

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