The experiences of Shropshire’s Romany, Gypsy and Traveller community use of local health services.

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Shropshire recognised that they knew very little about the experiences of the Romany, Gypsy and Traveler community use of local health services. With the cooperation of Shropshire Council’s Gypsy Liaison Officer and Advisory Teacher for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Children 11 families were visited across different sites in the County. It was found that where a person lived was a major contributor as to their experiences of health services. Overall, those families who lived on a permanent site with a postal code address were registered with local GP practices and NHS denistry and satisfied with the support they received. However, several sites were unofficial, hard to access, temporary with restricted communication. This made it very difficult for health services, even 999 ambulance, to access and for people to visit local health services. A further issue was common for those families who traveled and would only stay on a site for several months. It was almost impossible to register with a GP practice or dentist, letters could not be delivered and formal records were not transferred from one area to another. Where specific support was provided such as community nurses, health visitors and midwifes families were very positive about the support they received but, again, the travelling families experienced a much poorer service. The purpose of the report is to add to the gaps in knowledge of people's experiences of health services.

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General details

Report title 
The experiences of Shropshire’s Romany, Gypsy and Traveller community use of local health services.
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Shropshire
Date of publication 
Monday, 27 November, 2017
Type of report 
Key themes 
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Other information of note about this report 
Case Study
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
User stories
How was the information collected? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Dentist (non-hospital)
GP practice
Health visitor
Secondary care services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Accident & emergency
Mental health services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Community services 
Community healthcare and nursing services

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Not known
Types of long term conditions 
Not known

Details of people who shared their views

Age group 
Not known
Not known
Other ethnic group
Specific ethnicity if known 
Gypsy or Irish Traveller
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Other population characteristics 
People who are geographically isolated
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? 
Does the information include other people'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.