Health and Social Care
We believe that everyone should receive the support, care and treatment they need, with the compassion, respect and dignity they deserve.
Members of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities expect to live between 10 and 25 years shorter than the wider population and to spend less years of their lives in good health. Chronic exclusion across the wider social determinants of health put Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities at greater risk of poor health, but the way that the health and social care system has been designed can often make it harder for members of these communities to access the support, care and treatment they need.
"Samson's been helping me out with all my letters and he's helped me to fill in some forms to get benefits. I haven't got PIP yet, but he's helped me to feel confident going to an appeal with him."
Every year, our casework and outreach teams help over 1300 families with issues ranging from homelessness to hate crime, accessing healthcare to registering for carer's support, and much more. Our dedicated team of outreach workers, community navigators and health improvement workers help people to improve their health and wellbeing by:
- Connecting people to services;
- Providing advocacy and advice to people who are struggling to access the support they are entitled to;
- Delivering training in health improvement and behaviour change;
- Delivering brief health interventions; and more.
We work at a local and national level to:
- Address the wider social determinants of health which put Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities at high risk of poor physical and mental health.
- Equip people with the information they need to make healthy choices.
- Challenge discriminatory policies or practices which disadvantage members of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in accessing the health and social care services which they need.
- Improve consideration of the lives and experiences of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in the planning and commissioning of health and social care services.
- Develop and identify evidence-based interventions to address health inequalities in Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.
Our key tools and forums we use to bring about change in this area include:
- The VCSE Health and Wellbeing Alliance, of which we are a member;
- Sharing our guide 'How to tackle health inequalities in Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities: A guide for Health and Care services' with service providers and to those involved with implementing the NHS Long Term Plan;
- Through our Inclusion Health Audit Tool for voluntary sector organisations;
- As an accredited Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) Training Centre;
- The APPG for Gypsies, Travellers and Roma, to which we act as Secretariat;
- Our work with partnership organisations and fora, including Equally Ours, National Voices and the Coalition of Race Equality Organisations; and
- International Human Rights treaty making bodies, such as the United Nations.
We carry out research to:
- investigate and expose unfair treatment against Gypsies and Travellers in the health and social care system; and
- amplify the voices of Gypsy and Traveller communities in health and social care planning.
Friends, Families and Travellers policy briefing on health inequalities experienced by Gypsy and Traveller communities - view here.
To view our full range of reports and publications on health and social care, visit our Policy and Publications section.