Understanding Traveller populations in Wiltshire: a system-wide approach
PHE ePoster Library. Allum M. Sep 12, 2019; 274416; 214
Dr. Michael Allum
Dr. Michael Allum
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Abstract
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Abstract Introduction
Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) and Boater communities experience significant health inequalities in the UK, and the contributors to this are multi-factorial and society-wide. A Health Needs Assessment was undertaken in Wiltshire to capture the needs of the local GRT and Boater communities, to help improve health outcomes and reduce health inequalities using a whole-systems approach to address the wider determinants of health.
Methods
Data was collated from sources including: annual School census; biannual Traveller Caravan Count, local survey data (e.g. Boater survey), and national Census. Qualitative feedback was obtained from services who work with GRT and Boater communities (e.g. health visitors), and attempted with members of the communities via professionals with established trusted working relationships. A literature review was undertaken to highlight the expected needs of the population, and the best-practice interventions to address these needs.
Results
Approximately 700 GRT individuals live in Wiltshire, and approximately 500 individuals in the boat-dwelling community. Fear of discrimination, difficulty accessing healthcare, reduced attendance at schools, and environmental factors including provision of facilities and waste sites were highlighted as significant issues. The significance of cross-boundary travel was evident both for road- and waterway-based travellers, highlighting the importance of shared intelligence and best-practice between different local authorities and organisations.
Conclusion
This work identified the local needs of the GRT and Boater communities requires a system-wide approach to ensure all residents of Wiltshire live healthy independent lives. These findings will be developed into a GRT and Boater health strategy. External funding details
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