In 2015, the Touchstone WY-FI BME team carried out a piece of research as part of WY-FI’s Action Learning Research project. You can see a copy of the report here which captures the investigation methodologies, findings and recommendations as well as other resources you may find valuable.
The research looked at the experiences  and challenges faced by BME communities and individuals across West Yorkshire when engaging with services around multiple and complex needs. In order to gain an improved and more comprehensive understanding of multiple needs among these communities in West Yorkshire.
Research included literature reviews, statistical analysis, interviews, focus groups and questionnaires with both service users and service providers, enabling a variety of data to be collected. In addition to this, the BME research was guided by a Service User Consultation group, who offered support and guidance with the research. We also worked with volunteers throughout the data collection process.
Exploring the research has produced a number of overarching themes and commonalities. Throughout the research it became apparent that one-to-one support delivered with a holistic and person centred approach is identified most strongly by people with lived experience as a successful intervention.
These findings are then drawn upon to influence the service delivery and system development within WY-FI. Early learning from the WY-FI Project surrounding multiple needs and support provision available to individuals is necessary in order to inform the wider development of the commissioning and delivery of services and to direct individuals to the services available to them. The findings also highlight that there are things that can’t be “bought” such as support from family, friends and community that were also seen by people with lived experience as vital in accessing services and maintaining engagement with them to a successful outcome.

The key barriers to access and engagement have been found to be:
  • A lack of awareness within BME communities of the causes of multiple and complex needs, and where to find support
  • Individuals feeling that services are not able to support them as people, and being unable to build the trust and consistency they require
  • Services being perceive as being unable to respond to individuals cultural needs, including language and spiritual needs
  • The lack of culturally sensitive community based services as well as low levels of cultural competency within staff in mainstream services
The key areas of improvement outlined in the research are:
  • Better partnership work with communities at the grass root level, and increased visibility within communities
    • Increased commitment to co-production, diversity and an understanding of individual cultural needs, in both service ethos and delivery as well as service design.
  • Ensuring that assessments, and service support, are able to reflect and respond to the differing needs of BME individuals. This includes being aware of additional vulnerabilities that may affect certain individuals.

There were three areas in total that were researched as part of WY-FI’s Action Learning Research including women’s engagement and male prison leavers. You can read the report here and a summary of all three reports here.
If you could like to discuss the research further please call the WY-FI BME team on 01924 460 432.