Capturing the Impact of COVID 19 on BAME Communities in North West London

North West London (NWL) Collaboration of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in partnership with NWL professionals who represent Local Authorities, NHS partners and community leaders have come together to undertake insight gathering and research in response to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Communities

There is emerging evidence which suggests that BAME Communities and health and care staff are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. The purpose of the research is to better understand the experiences and circumstances of our local BAME communities as they live through the pandemic, in order that we might better respond to their needs and concerns. We are asking people to get involved by sharing stories through:

●        ‘diary-style’ video recordings from both frontline staff and community members;

●       voice recordings;

●       personal written micro-stories;

●       song, poetry and other non-conventional expressions of storytelling

●       online blog posts, tweets and other social media posts as relevant.

This research aims to gather insight that reflects the wide ranging experiences of NWL BAME residents. For example, we already know that Brent had the highest level in North West London of people who tested positive for COVID-19 and more than three times as many as the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Research objectives: The research aims to capture stories from people who worked at the front line of services, during the COVID-19 pandemic and patients/carers, voluntary and public sector leaders. The Stories will provide an in-depth and personal account of the issues that mattered most to people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds (BAME). More specifically, this research will:

●       Assess how COVID-19 impacts BAME communities particularly in wards and estates with a disproportionate number of residents affected by the pandemic.

●       Assess how COVID-19 impacts the BAME staff particularly those working directly with the patients and communities affected by COVID-19.

●       Determine what system and community responses need to be developed as a result.  

Research outcome
The outcome of this research will be used to address the challenges we face in making equality an Integral part of all we do.  More specifically the aspiration is:

·        That the feedback from our communities will be influential in the way services are shaped and commissioned. 

·        To see our common vision and statutory duty to narrow inequalities and health inequalities amongst the various communities we serve, realized.

Ethics and confidentiality/anonymity: Please complete the confidentiality form attached to this interview question form.

Research Questions
Thank you for volunteering to be part of this initiative looking at the experience of BAME community and the frontline staff. We would like you to help us address a number of questions that we have developed to support our discussion with you. This session will last for up to 30-45 minutes.

We would also like to send you a copy of the final interview to show how your story has contributed to new thinking and practice in this area. Please indicate if you would be happy for us to do so.

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* 1. Please tell us a little about yourself (including: ethnicity, age, cultural/religious, gender and background)

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* 2. Can you describe your role 

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* 3. In your opinion what are the key issues that this initiative should pay attention to in terms of COVID 19 and its impact on BAME communities?

i) What should the focus be on and why?
ii) How has COVID 19 impacted on you personally?
iii)  A number of themes that emerged from our discussions with engagement leads, system leaders and community groups - (mental and physical health, domestic violence, housing – density and overcrowding, inequality)

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* 4. System and Organisational Change

i) Are BAME communities disproportionately affected by Covid 19?
ii) What has Covid 19 taught us about existing health inequalities?
iii) How has Covid 19 exacerbated existing health inequalities?
iv) How does Covid 19 speak to the inequalities in health and social care (both within the system and outside)?
v) Should we only be focusing on challenges within the healthcare system — i.e. those things that we can directly impact?
vi) What are some of the lessons that we can learn from this heath crisis?
vii) What does the end point look like?
viii) What does a ‘bottom up’ approach look like?
ix) How do we lead the conversation?

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* 5. Voluntary and public sector leaders

i) Do you think there has been any key leaders who have helped to shape public narrative/conversations on how best to tackle COVID-19 and its impact on BAME communities?
ii) Narratives that tell us more about communication, engagement, misinformation, culturally appropriate responses to death, wider social-economic issues?

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* 6. Community responses to COVID -19 at System Level

i) Could you describe the response to COVID-19 in BAME communities by local communities?
ii) How have BAME communities supported each other during this time? (importance of self-care/ health and well-being)?
iii) Are there lessons to learn about how the community connects and collaborates to survive?

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* 7. BAME front line staff

i) What are the key issues for BAME staff during the COVID 19 context?
ii) Do you think BAME front line staff are being treated differently to their white counterparts?

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* 8. Final thoughts:

i) Do you have any questions?
ii) How have you found the interview process – reflections?
iii) If there was one thing that you would like to come out of this initiative what would it be?

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