Understanding the health needs of protected groups

On Monday 23 September 2019, as part of National Inclusion week, Michelle Gavin came from a National charity which is based in Brighton, ‘Friends, Families and Travellers’ to talk about the health experiences of the Gypsy and Traveller communities.

These communities are known to face some of the most severe health inequalities and poor life outcomes amongst the United Kingdom population, even when compared with other ethnic minorities.

By having an enhanced understanding of the experiences and issues that these communities face, there is more hope that health and care services can be designed to better support their needs. If organisations get better at designing health and care services that meet the needs of our protected communities, there is every chance that health inequalities can be reduced by recognition of impact.

The seminar session was attended by partners and CCG staff, there was healthy debate and feedback was positive.

One of the Senior Commissioning Managers said:

I found the session incredibly informative. Initially, I was not very informed about the Gypsy Roma Traveller community; I wasn’t aware, for instance, that they were protected under the Equality Act 2010 as a race. I also hadn’t been aware of the health outcomes of people in the community, and the inequalities in access they face.

Since the talk, I’ve had the Gypsy Roma Traveller community in mind when I have been completing Equality and Health Inequalities Impact Assessments, in order that, where possible we reduce inequalities and improve health outcomes.