Our Community Development Team in partnership with the Black Country and West Birmingham Healthier Futures Integrated Care System have been shortlisted for a prestigious Health Service Journal (HSJ) award for their work around race equality.

The BAME Covid-19 group, which includes a range of local partners, including Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, was set up to help tackle health inequalities and improve population health, particularly focusing on people from ethnic minorities, who often have poorer health outcomes.

Four community development workers were recruited to support the programme which has engaged with over 200 ethnic minority and third sector organisations over the past year. Targeted work around vaccine hesitancy has seen local communities more informed and empowered in managing their health.

Ashi Williams, Director of People at Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust commented: “I am so pleased that our Community Development Workers (CDWs), who work as part of our community inclusion team, have been recognised.

“The last 18 months have been some of the most challenging in the NHS and for people across the Black Country. Our CDWs have tirelessly supported our Healthier Futures ambitions to reduce health inequalities, by working with our communities to enable innovation, collaboration and prevention. They have achieved this through work with our diverse communities – with just one of the outcomes being that vaccine hesitancy for people from an ethnic minority has been broken down and supported.

“I am so proud and thankful for the amazing work of the community inclusion team – to ensure that people from an ethnic minority are heard, that they have equitable access and opportunity to health and social care provisions, and that they are not at a detriment.”

Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in November 2021.