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Gypsy and Traveller Health Improvement Evaluation

Inequality is rarely starker than that experienced by the Gypsy and Traveller community. Average life expectancy is estimated to be in its 50s. The oldest man at one Leeds site, housing over 100 families, is 60 years old. The Centre for Health Promotion Research (CHPR) was commissioned by Leeds CCG, to evaluate a project aiming to improve the health of the city’s Gypsies and Travellers.

A partnership with Leeds GATE (an advocacy organisation) was established and a specialist outreach nurse employed to connect community members to health services.

The evaluation assessed whether the intervention had improved relationships with primary care, the approach’s acceptability and its health impact. CHPR interviewed community members (on-site and roadside) and stakeholders plus analysed monitoring and service-use data. The report, published October 2018, revealed the depth of need and the many barriers to accessing health-care. The intervention was highly acceptable; the nurse’s intervention greatly appreciated.

Outcomes include: The specialist nurse role being extended; NHS England requesting further information; Journal of Practice Nursing requesting an editorial, and; Leeds CCG commissioning the CHPR to evaluate more work with ‘vulnerable populations’.

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