In the 2014 comprehensive joint strategic needs assessment (JSNA), it was highlighted that there was an increasing ethnically diverse population in West Sussex, especially in younger groups. As minority ethnic groups were identified as having specific or additional health needs, the West Sussex Health and Wellbeing Board asked the Public Health and Social Research Unit (PHSRU) to conduct a needs assessment for Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups.
The aim of this work was to:
- identify the overarching and specific issues in minority ethnic groups
- understand what life is like for these groups and communities living in West Sussex
- identify the needs of BAME commmunities and which of these require commissioned services - and which of these needs the communities provide for themselves
- understand how these groups access existing services and whether these services are currently meeting their needs
- identify the challenges and barriers to accessing services or participating in life in West Sussex.
By using a number of methods to gather this information, the BAME needs assessment provides an overall picture of life, health and wellbeing for BAME groups in West Sussex and, most importantly, identifies where there are opportunities for improving their health and wellbeing.
An independent community engagement and research study was carried out as part of the BAME needs assessment.
The work was delivered by The Young Foundation, using a participatory approach with community researchers. Over 100 people from BAME communities were engaged with expert support from The Young Foundation. Community researchers also contributed to the analysis of the data and reviewed the final report.
The research had four main aims:
- to obtain a detailed understanding of the wellbeing, health and social care needs of the BAME population
- to identify gaps in service provision and the extent to which existing services meet the needs of the population
- to determine the barriers and enablers to accessing services and explore what changes are required to overcome these barriers
- to identify priorities for action and indicators for monitoring progress towards change.
The findings and recommendations are summarised under four key areas: Life and wellbeing in West Sussex; Using health and social care services; Tackling taboos (mental health and domestic abuse); and Community assets.