Can Do Health & Care - NHS Uncomfortable Truths Report

Part 1: WHY as system leaders we need to address culture to improve outcomes | 7 Sharon: Clacton is a beautiful area, where day trippers enjoy excellent facilities. But it grew in Victorian times and its houses were built for the needs of a different era. Today these houses have been converted into bedsits and houses of multiple occupation with dreadful health outcomes for residents. One story illustrates the challenges. Tammy was married, 44 years old with 2 children, and on the surface all was good. However, she was a victim of domestic violence and fled her home near London overnight with her two sons and only the clothes she wore. She found a bedsit in Clacton, the family living in one room with no cooking facilities. The local area has county lines, high unemployment and mainly seasonal employment. Tammy has a health condition, one son has autism, and Tammy found it hard to control her sons who were walking the streets, extremely vulnerable. We can imagine the risks to them. Nicola: The West of Suffolk doesn’t comparatively have the same number of areas of deprivation. However if you are that family that is living in deprivation it doesn’t matter that those around you are not. We need to direct resources where the greater need is, but that doesn’t mean we leave people behind. “If you are one family in deprivation you feel its impact and in fact it can be more isolating because you don’t tend to have the community groups, the support around.” Uncomfortable Truth 2: Black and Asian women are more than four times more likely than white women to die in pregnancy or childbirth, women of mixed ethnicity two times higher and Asian women almost twice as likely. MBRRACE Joyce: I work with local women who use GP and hospital services and we have to support them with the consequences of their experiences. To prepare for today I shared with our women the data on maternal deaths among Black women, reporting that Black women are least likely to feel they are treated with kindness, care and respect, and being most likely to have postnatal depression and least likely to have access to care and follow up after treatment. They shared their uncomfortable truths about their experiences: • Unconscious bias in health that contributes to disparities in health outcomes. We see in the community some health outcomes that are irreversible. • Failure to recognise medical conditions in Black babies and their mothers.

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