Diversity & Equality in Health and Care Open Access

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I never knew that! Why do people from Black and Asian Minority Ethnic groups in Leicester access hospice services less than other groups? A discussion with community groups

Sheila Markham, Zoebia Islam, Christina Faull

In the UK, Black and AsianMinority Ethnic (BAME) patients are less likely to access palliative care services than their White counterparts. An increasingly diverse population makes this a cause for concern. This paper describes a project in Leicester to discover what members of the BAME communities knew about palliative care and the providers of hospice services; what they thought the barriers were to their use of these services; and how they would like to find out about them.Informal discussion groups were used as the vehicle for information gathering; accessing communities to develop such groups posed specific problems. Two project workers made notes during and immediately after the discussion groups. These were thematically analysed. Findings suggested that knowledge about palliative care was scant, though much valued when understood. Cultural and religious strictures on using palliative care services or a palliative care approachwere not demonstrated, though others, including considerable concerns about food when an inpatient, were deemed of importance. The need to know what is locally available, and how to access those services, was uniformly agreed, and the information given warmly welcomed, even by those with reservations.