The West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership has vowed to tackle health equalities in local BAME communities, after a report highlighted a number of steps that need to be taken.
The report was produced after a review chaired by Professor Dame Donna Kinnair, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, into the disparities in the risks and outcomes of Covid-19.
It calls for ethnically appropriate advice and support for people working in high risk roles to mitigate risk to their heath, their families and communities.
The report also calls on organisations in West Yorkshire and Harrogate engage in positive action to actively seek out local, ethnically representative talent with local recruitment targets for senior level roles.
And more work to measure progress on reducing inequalities in mental health by ethnicity, including sharing good practice, improving use of evidence and coordinating training.
‘Despite historic events and the stark reality of the compelling evidence before us, I like many others want to know why people from BAME communities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and continue, yet again, to be impacted by health inequalities and an unjust society,’ said Professor Kinnair.
‘Being involved in this important review has given me both the opportunity to learn more about West Yorkshire and Harrogate’s cultural vibrancy, strong diverse communities and identities, and to facilitate a much-needed conversation which builds on the work already well underway by the Partnership. There is much to be proud of and it gives me genuine hope for current and future BAME generations.’
The trust’s chief executive, Rob Webster added: ‘Our Partnership has big ambitions to tackle health inequalities and support Black Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities and colleagues. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought these issues into even sharper focus, with people from BAME communities more likely to be affected and more likely to die from coronavirus.
‘This report shows we were right to bring fresh eyes and external challenge to our plans. We will make the implementation of the recommendations a clear priority for the Partnership and ask our partnership board and BAME network to hold us to account in the future. Together we can genuinely change the experiences of our communities and staff for good.’
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