One of the key roles of EMAG is to help people from ethnic minority communities’ access mainstream services and reduce any barriers they have. On the 3rd March 2017 we held a Multicultural Event and staff from the NHS also attended to get feedback from our members. There were 160 people at this event and was an ideal occasion for the NHS to get feedback from members of the community who wouldn’t normally give feedback in more formal settings, i.e. NHS stakeholder events and forums. This is due to the following reasons:
1. Language barriers
2. Cultural barriers
3. Lack of confidence
4. They are young mothers looking after children
5. Mobility barriers
This event allowed the NHS staff to engage with people in a safe and comfortable environment that allowed participants to talk freely and openly about their experiences of using NHS services. Practically all of their feedback relates to issues that affect everyone in the community such as the difficulty in making GP appointments and that 10 minutes per patient sometimes isn’t enough time. Other points raised include the difficulty in getting a mental health problem diagnosed and the over-medication of people in this situation before a diagnosis is reached. The research covered primary care, planned care, acute and out of hospital services.
The NHS and EMAG would like to thank all of those who participated in this process and you can download a copy of the feedback from HERE. For those of you who were not at the event and you would also like to add your experiences of using NHS services please add your comments below and these will be fed back to the NHS.