New outreach workers will be employed by the NHS to support people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities – recognising the disproportionate impact coronavirus is having, Health Minister Vaughan Gething announced today. (Thursday 29th October).
The Welsh Government is helping to fund the appointment of the outreach workers, which are being appointed in six health boards, to provide face-to-face engagement with BAME communities. Cardiff and Vale University Health Board is funding its own engagement programme working with community partners.
The appointments come as evidence shows the huge and adverse impact coronavirus has had on people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.
The new roles will help break down any barriers preventing people using the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service and support a two-way communication between organisations and communities. They will also help to communicate key messages and dispel any myths and false information.
Minister for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething said:
Every part of life and every community has been effected by coronavirus. But all the figures and evidence show people from BAME communities are disproportionately losing their lives as a result of this pandemic.
We have a developed a cross-government approach to understand the impact coronavirus has on BAME communities. The new outreach roles will provide support to communities and will help advise policy makers and health service providers about best practices to reach communities, build relationships with local priests, Imam, youth workers and other third sector organisations.
Our BAME COVID-19 Health Advisory Group is helping us to understand why certain communities are affected more than others and I’m pleased the chair supports the creation of these outreach worker roles.
Deputy Minister and Chief Whip Jane Hutt, said:
It’s vital this funding supports the appointment of outreach workers who will engage directly with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities to support the Test, Trace, Protect service, and act on broader health concerns.
The Welsh Government has been listening intently to expert partners with lived experience who can pinpoint the concerns and priorities of BAME communities, and are helping us to strengthen two-way communication.
The experience and evidence brought to us by these new outreach workers and our existing partners will be built into the Race Equality Action Plan for Wales, which forms the foundation and road-map towards systemic and sustainable change for Wales.
Our work on the Race Equality Action Plan is already underway and it will be developed before the end of this Senedd term. Together with our BAME partners, we’ll work to protect BAME communities and drive towards our ambition of an equal Wales, free from racism and inequality.