MEMORANDUM BY BLACKLINERS (PH 91)
1. WHAT IS
Blackliners is a voluntary organisation and
charity, targeting the black and ethnic minority communities in
the area of HIV/sexual health prevention and support services.
We deliver advocacy/advice services for people living with HIV,
support on accessing and living with HIV combination therapy and
health promotion projects targeting young people.
2. CONCERNS AROUND
Key concerns regarding the development of public
health policy are the following.
HIV/sexual healthWe are witnessing
substantial increases in the number of people contracting HIV.
In addition we are seeing increases in other sexually transmitted
infections such as Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia. Our rates of teenage
pregnancy are the worst in Western Europe. Our target group of
ethnic minority communities is over-represented across all of
these statistics. Effective targeting and prevention strategies
for high-risk groups are needed.
Race equality and health inequalities.
The Social Exclusion Unit in their neighbourhood renewal report
alluded to the issues of social exclusion and ethnic minorities,
who were more likely to live in poor neighbourhoods with all of
the negative implications for good health. If health inequalities
are to be reduced effectively targeting communities has to be
the key. Effectively targeting ethnic communities in the development
and implementation of policy needs improvement. The management
culture of the NHS can seem to view these issues as peripheral.
In London there are serious service implications around access
and prevention in targeting ethnic communities.
Health Action Zonesthe performance
of HAZ's will vary across the country. Unfortunately our experience
in London has not been positive. Involving communities and the
voluntary sector have been an issue.
PCG, PCT's & Care Trustsas
a Non-Executive Director of a London community health trust the
reconfiguring of health care delivery at a district/local level
seems to be confused. I believe the amalgamation of health and
social care community services into local care trusts, jointly
managed by local authorities and the NHS should be the way forward.
However in the district that my community trust serves we are
facing the splitting off of mental health services into a large
mental health trust. There would seem to be issues of service
focus and local delivery competing with one another.