Health Inequalities: Somali people's experiences of health and social care services in Birmingham

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Birmingham conducted 17 virtual interviews with Somali people in Birmingham to explore experiences of racism, discrimination and bias, the impact of news of delivering services introduced during the covid-19 pandemic.

The report found that levels of trust and engagement amongst Somali people in Birmingham are being impacted. There were negative experiences of health and social care and the challenges and barriers they face when accessing services and experiences of discrimination. Dismissive attitudes of professionals, lack of dignity and respect, poor diagnosis and referral to specialist treatment, cultural and language difficulties, limitations in interpretation support, stigma and discrimination have led to distrust and detachment from health and social care services.

A number of recommendations were made in this report in an effort to improve Somali people's experiences. 

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General details

Report title 
Health Inequalities: Somali people's experiences of health and social care services in Birmingham
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Birmingham
Date of publication 
Thursday, 19 November, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Sunday, 20 September, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 23 October, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Complaints procedure
Health inequalities
Health promotion
Health protection
Holistic support
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes
Staff training
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Structured interview
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Black/ African / Caribbean / Black British
Specific ethnicity if known 
Any other Black/African/Caribbean background
Sexual orientation 
Not 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? 
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.