29 June 2012

Staff learn about Roma community

Staff at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) have been learning more about the county's Roma community at a cultural awareness event.

Gabriela Smolinska-Poffley, from the London-based Roma Support Group, was invited to give staff a better understanding of the needs of the Roma community and how to provide a better service.

The event at the Queen's Medical Centre was organised by NUH's Equality Team and Dr Liz Marder, Children and Young People Pathway Lead.

It is estimated that there are between 300,000 and 500,000 Roma living in the UK. Roma people are the most excluded and disadvantaged ethnic group in Europe. The average life expectancy of Roma is just under 50.

Economic disadvantage, child poverty, discrimination and the lowest education attainment of all ethnic groups in the UK are contributing factors.

Giles Matsell, Head of Equality and Diversity at NUH, said: "Very little is known about the Roma community and it is essential that we take positive steps to change this.

"Staff within the Community Paediatrics Department wanted to get a better understanding of how they could improve communication and customer service with the Roma community because there has been an increase in the number of Roma visitors attending their department."

Staff who attended the Roma Community Cultural Awareness Event will be encouraged to act as department champions and share their knowledge with colleagues.

ENDS

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