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Your spotlight on local services

How can we improve access to social care for South Asian communities in Barking and Dagenham?


As an independent champion for people using local health and social care services, we listen to what people like about services and what could be improved. The “Perceptions and Experiences of Access to Social Care Services within South Asian Communities in Barking and Dagenham” project was specifically launched to give a voice to a community that is underrepresented when it comes to social care. More research is necessary to build a culturally appropriate service offering since, according to internet research, social care support is not entirely tailored to the needs of the South Asian community.

Currently, there is an underrepresentation of people of an Asian/Asian British ethnic background for older people accessing adult social care (in line with the information from adult social care LBBD). Moreover, there is a more significant underrepresentation of people of an Asian/Asian British ethnic background for working-aged people accessing social care. According to the NHS Information Centre, people from Black and minority ethnic (BME) groups have generally reported lower levels of satisfaction with social care services when compared to white people.

Social care is viewed as a "last resort" among South Asian populations, according to the Community Care website, and seen as a public acknowledgement that your family somewhat had failed you. Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham are researching to support the social care services provided to South Asian populations and to meet the norms and cultural requirements of this community.

To go more into the necessity of building a culturally appropriate social care programme, it is necessary to provide a few examples of existing difficulties. According to the Alzheimer’s website, although Punjabi is the third most spoken language in the UK, there is no word for dementia in the language. The same may be said for Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati, and a variety of other South Asian languages. Moreover, people of South Asian origin in the UK are more likely to develop dementia than the general population due to a higher incidence of other illnesses that enhance the risk of dementia, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, according to the Guardian. Moreover, a "lack of culturally appropriate service provision" means that health and care personnel frequently fail to take their faith, cultural norms, or dietary requirements into consideration.  

This research led by Healthwatch Barking & Dagenham will bring the voice and influence of local people from South Asian communities to the development and delivery of local services, putting local people at the heart of decision-making processes.

Anyone who represents the South Asian community in Barking and Dagenham is encouraged to take part. You can express your views via our online survey by contacting us on 0800 298 5331, info@healthwatchbarkinganddagenham.co.uk



Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham
Lifeline House
25 Neville Road
Dagenham, Essex RM8 3QS