Background National Census (2011) (Office for National Statistics, 2012) indicated that the South East region had 9.3% of non-white ethnic groups; yet, these groups had lower access, usage and satisfaction rates to palliative care services compared to people of White ethnicity (Calanzani et al., 2013; Dixon et al., 2015). In order to cater for the various needs of the local service users in a sustainable manner, a Learning Alliance (LA) was formed in South East England. This LA was comprised of palliative care providers, charities and voluntary organisations, minority ethnic groups and academic researchers, with funding for events provided by the local Health Education England network.
Aims By working collaboratively across the LA, it is anticipated that the emerging supportive and palliative care needs from the local population will be identified, mapped and addressed.
Methods The LA would organise two consultation events, which were designed for the Black, Asian, Eastern European, Romany and Traveller ethnic groups, to explore issues in providing and accessing palliative and end of life care services. The summary of these consultations was conveyed to healthcare service providers and expected to lead to potential research projects.
Results The LA has built a consolidated and viable network to support the healthcare service providers and users to enhance the uptake of the palliative care services, as well as to share expertise and practices with one another. Its consultation events and potential future research projects help the stakeholders to recognise the shortfalls of the existing services in order to rectify the inequalities within the healthcare services.
Conclusion Reaching out and working alongside the health care service providers and minority ethnic groups allow both parties to increase awareness of the diversity needs and the suitability of the palliative care services. In the long term, the LA will be attempting to transfer and apply its findings to the wider minority population groups.
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