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“Hate leads to fights, Fights lead to war, War leads to beautiful world no more”
Kieran Hunt

Birmingham St Mary's Hospice
Equality in Hospices

Our project is to enhance our presence in communities that never or rarely utilise our palliative care services, despite needing our support. This initiative will see Birmingham St Mary’s develop targeted service strategies to support individuals with life-limiting illnesses from diverse and marginalised groups in Birmingham and Sandwell.
 
We are still struggling to reach diverse communities that do not historically utilise hospice services due to their culture or perception of palliative care. At present, our Equality and Diversity Committee engage with different groups and communities to help break down barriers; however, we have identified a need to build on this, as we are not currently supporting everyone who needs our help in the community.
 
In order to extend our reach, it is necessary to work closely with local diverse communities to find out more about their particular needs. We need to educate them on what services we can offer. This will make it easier for them to get support from us when they need it.

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Before commencing our project, we undertook a piece of research to identify the need to increase our presence in diverse communities. We discovered that one of the reasons Black and Minority Ethnicity (BME) communities do not utilise our services is because of language barriers. Before 2019, the information provided to them about hospice care was written only in the English language, which many do not speak, read or write. We were fortunate enough to be awarded funding to translate our information leaflets to ensure that BME communities have equal access to our services. However, it is imperative that we continue to provide this support and also reach other communities that we are still struggling to engage, such as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community.

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As a hospice, we have the capacity to support individuals from diverse groups such as the BME and LGBT communities. However, until we can better educate them about our palliative care services, it is likely that they will continue to overlook our vital services.
 
To achieve this, we must enhance our attendance at engagement events such as Eid and Birmingham Pride, which will increase awareness of palliative care within diverse communities.

It is also important that we improve staff and volunteer knowledge of diverse groups through education sessions. This will enable us to provide more person-centred care, tailored to individuals’ needs.
 
Overall, our project will improve communication with diverse and marginalised communities and educate them about the type of support we provide. This will increase awareness within these communities and ensure that they feel more comfortable with us delivering care to them and their loved one who are affected by life-limiting illnesses.
 

For more information:

https://www.birminghamhospice.org.uk/

debbie.briden@birminghamhospice.org.uk