Gypsies and Travellers experience significantly poorer health outcomes than the settled population, other ethnic minorities and socially deprived groups. Following the national patterns, Gypsies and Travellers in West Sussex experience social deprivation, poor quality accommodation, uncertainty about being moved on, low health literacy, difficulty accessing health and social care services, late presentation and low uptake of services.
To fully understand Gypsies’ and Travellers’ health needs, it is necessary to understand their distinct cultural rules and expectations, the low levels of literacy and educational attainment and the multiple forms of deprivation and discrimination they continue to experience. Their accommodation and travelling status also have a major impact on their health.
Despite the challenges involved, there are many local examples of good practice where public services have worked closely with Gypsy and Traveller communities to commission, develop and support services to meet their needs. The most effective approaches are those that integrally involve Gypsies and Travellers, so that services are developed and co-produced with them, rather than imposed.
You can download the 2010 health needs assessment of Gypsies and Travellers in West Sussex, produced by the Office for Public Management (commissioned by NHS West Sussex and West Sussex County Council), below.