Community insights - focus on minority ethnicity communities

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Summary of report content

Between October 2019 and June 2020, Healthwatch Tower Hamlets carried out four research projects assessing general wellbeing, experiences of COVID-19, and mental health in the local community. This included an engagement event with 90 people from local Chinese and Vietnamese communities (October 2019) and structured interviews with 240 people (December 2019). In-depth interviews with a total of 20 people, in focus groups (February – April 2020) and a survey which 354 completed (March – June 2020) were also conducted.

Key findings from this research:

  • People of minority ethnicities had a poorer experience of health and social care than White British residents.
  • People of Black ethnicities were more likely to be digitally excluded during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • There were systematic barriers to healthcare for people with language barriers, such as interpreters not always being available and a reliance on telephone appointments or online symptom checkers.
  • People facing digital exclusion felt less empowered about their own health and found it harder to stay informed about COVID-19.

No recommendations were made in this report.

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General details

Report title 
Community insights - focus on minority ethnicity communities
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Tower Hamlets
Date of publication 
Thursday, 3 December, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 1 October, 2019
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 30 June, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Health inequalities
Information providing
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Other information of note about this report 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Engagement event
Focus group
Structured interview
How was the information collected? 
Engagement Event

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice
Secondary care services 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Specific ethnicity if known 
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.