Ratna Dutt: "Black and minority ethnic communities may find it more difficult to negotiate complex care pathways"

Posted on Fri 3 Feb 2012

Ratna Dutt: "Black and minority ethnic communities may find it more difficult to negotiate complex care pathways"
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An emphasis on working with service users, carers and community groups to develop care pathways and policy; the provision of named coordinators for patients with long‐term or complex needs; and increased interaction between health, social care, housing and other services are amongst the recommendations made by the Future Forum in their report on integration in NHS service provision.   The report, one of four produced by the Future Forum as part of its second stage of consultation on the health reforms, outlines a number of systematic changes to leadership, management and regulation which could help patients ‘experience a smooth, effective and safe care journey’. 

Ratna Dutt, Chief Executive of the Race Equality Foundation and a member of the Future Forum, has responded to this call for improved integration, stating that “increased mobility amongst groups such as Gypsy-Travellers or new migrants, and personal preferences based on cultural or religious factors may mean that black and minority ethnic communities find it more difficult to negotiate complex care pathways. Further, if language is an issue, repetition of information about conditions and treatment creates the risk of errors in communication, especially if provision of translators is inconsistent. Named coordinators and smoother care pathways could ease this process and therefore should be welcomed.”

The NHS Future Forum was established as part of the Government’s ‘listening exercise’ on NHS reform in the UK.  The Forum has recently completed a new phase of consultation, gaining further feedback from patients, service users and professionals on four themes relating to the proposed reform of UK health services (information, integration, education and the role of the NHS in public health).  The Race Equality Foundation will respond to each of the reports over the coming weeks.

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