"The average life expectancy for Gypsies and Irish Travellers in Leeds is about 50 years of age, compared to the settled population of Leeds which is around 78 years"
"There is a health crisis among the Gypsy and Traveller communities"
Baker M, Leeds REC, 2005
We aim to improve health outcomes, here are some of our activities -
- We provide a telephone, drop in and outreach advocacy service. We support Gypsy and Traveller community members to overcome literacy and other barriers in order to access and effectively utilise primary and secondary health services. These include GP's, community healthcare, mental health services, drug and alcohol, domestic abuse, hospital trusts, and carer support. We are particularly grateful to the Emigrant support Programme (Embassy of Ireland) and Leeds Public Health for support to the advocacy provision at Leeds GATE.
- We develop and promote opportunities for Gypsy and Traveller community members to identify and meet their own health information needs. This includes Community Health Educators training sessions, which we run as often as funding allows, and a range of volunteer activity. We operate an informal health reference committee which ensures that Gypsy and Traveller community members can reflect and advise on the health related work that we do. we are developing the use of film to support information sharing and reference within our organisation. Lloydstsb Foundation and Healthy Living Leeds have been very supportive of this work.
- We bring health information (for example measles and whooping cough vaccinations) to the local Lee Gap Horse Fair which is attended by Gypsy and Traveller people from near and far. We support public health clinicians, especially the Health Protection Agency and McMillan to share information and to encourage and increase preventative healthcare.We have developed a relationship with Shakespeare Medical Practice, increasing accessibility for 'walk in' patients who are either not registered with a GP or are away from their home registration.
- We have researched and reviewed best practice in health promotion and advancement. As a result we are very keen to fund and promote Community Health Champions to support primary healthcare within Gypsy and Traveller family homes and to ensure open and equable access into mainstream community based, CCG and hospital trust healthcare.
- We inform and support health practitioners in developing cultural competence and engagement skills by as many means as possible. This includes provision of broad cultural and engagment training, eLearning, audio cd, dvd and publications. See here and here
- We carry out, and engage with partners to carry out, health related research and consultation locally and nationally. We use our knowledge strategically to raise awareness and to campaign for the best possible outcomes for Gypsy and Irish Travellers. We continue to inform the development of information within Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and Health and Wellbeing Board processes across West Yorkshire.
- We co-ordinate the Leeds City Gypsy and Traveller Partnership group that meets every quarter at the Leeds GATE office. Contact us to find out more.
- We are working jointly with Friends, Families and Travellers and partners including the Department of Health; National Inclusion Health Board; Irish Traveller Movement in Britain; Irish Community Care Merseyside; GATE Hertfordshire and UCL Health Equity Institute on a strategic National Gypsy and Traveller Health Inclusion Project. More information on this will be posted soon.
- The Health Status of Gypsies and Travellers in England University of Sheffield
- Developing the cultural competence of health professionals working with Gypsy Travellers Gill Francis
- A report into Domestic Violence by Kathleen Morrison One Punch Kills
- A review of Domestic Violence Projects by Helen McAuslane
- Various health related articles Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group
- A brief note for Health Practitioners Friends, Families and Travellers
- How to Engage with Gypsies and Travellers as part of your work Leeds GATE
- A report about ethnicity monitoring and inclusion of Gypsies and Travellers in the NHS from ITMB