Tai Pawb welcomes publication of BAME risk-factor review

Written by Ross Thomas

The Welsh Government’s review into key socio-economic risk factors for BAME people in the Covid-19 crisis has concluded that long-standing racism and disadvantage has been a contributory factor.

The report, brought together by the BAME Covid-19 expert advisory group, also highlights: a lack of BAME representation within decision-making processes; a lack of action on race equality; and other issues which ‘haven’t been addressed in any systematic or sustained way’.

The report suggests a range of recommendations for both immediate and medium-term action across a host of key socio-economic and environmental factors:

Housing, overcrowding and environment
o with recommendations: (a) to commission further research to investigate potential links between housing over-crowding and Covid-19 infection and mandate housing providers and local authorities to act on the recommendations (immediate); and (b) to develop move-on accommodation options for refugees leaving Home Office accommodation who have nowhere to go and for whom the current advice service funded by WG is not enough (medium-term)

Structural and systemic inequality in health and social care
o With recommendations including (a) the appointment of an independent Racial Equality Champion for Wales and (b) the establishment of a Race Disparity Unit in Welsh Government

Living with race inequality in Wales
o with recommendations including the development of a Race Equality Strategy for Wales (immediate)

Quality of ethnicity data
o With recommendations including the undertaking of qualitative research for best practice in recording data across health and social care services (immediate)

Risk of COVID-19
o With recommendations including the wide dissemination of the risk assessment tool, and beyond health and social care settings

Experiences of racism
o With recommendations including the implementation of BAME staff networks, supported by local trade unions, within health boards

Effective communication of key health and social care messages
o With recommendations including the development of a multi-channel communications strategy in partnership with BAME groups

Cultural suitability of health and social care services
o With recommendations including a review into the appropriateness of services to improve future delivery

Security of employment and income
o With recommendations around the likely recession and its impact on BAME people and a call to extend the furlough scheme to the most vulnerable

Engagement with young BAME people
o With a recommendation that local authorities support social disadvantaged BAME pupils with access to laptops or iPads to continue their education
• Financial burden of migration status
o With a recommendation to lobby UK Government on reducing visa costs

o With recommendations that include the need to consider the language needs of diverse communities in sharing important messages on VAWDASV

Responding to the publication of the report, Director of Tai Pawb, Alicja Zalesinska, said:

“We welcome the frank and transparent analysis undertaken by the BAME advisory group, with a quick turn-around, to get us to this point. It’s all too clear that BAME people and communities the length and breadth of Wales have suffered hugely disproportionately from the impact of COVID-19. The current crisis has also shone a spotlight on a much wider theme of inequality and injustice experienced by BAME people.

“Equipped with a clearer understanding of the issues affecting BAME people, it is now paramount that action is taken to address the inequalities, some of which have been found to be systemic and long-standing – this includes housing inequalities.

“It was important for us to feed into the review. We stand ready to play our part in working with Welsh Government, BAME and housing organisations to take the recommendations forward.”

To read the full report and its recommendations, click here.