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NHS to research inequalities facing Jewish communities

NHS to research inequalities facing Jewish communities
By Jess Hacker
3 August 2023



Health inequalities faced by Jewish communities in England will be addressed through new research, it has been announced.

The 12-month research programmes – commissioned by the NHS Race and Health Observatory – will determine how to prevent disengagement from healthcare services and improve communication with the NHS.

The Observatory said research will also examine how NHS England is already engaging with the Jewish community, with a particular focus on how it communicates messaging around vaccines, healthy diets and preventative care.

Increased genetic risk of disease – such as breast cancer – and high Covid-19 infection and mortality will also be explored.

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Led by Intent Health, the research will inform evidence-based guidance or use from summer 2024.

NHS communications will be evaluated across areas, including:

  • Experience of antisemitism from staff, patients and the public
  • Issues around attending appointments on Sabbath and during religious festivals
  • End of life care and bereavement support
  • How Jewish staff’s wellbeing is affected by their workplace
  • Hospital food provided for staff and patients
  • Trusted sources of health information.

Chief executive of the NHS Race and Health Observatory, Dr Habib Naqvi, said: ‘We are pleased to announce this targeted area of research primarily focused on Jewish communities. The work will bring together, for the first time, key insights and evidence-based recommendations that address gaps in health communication.

‘We know that culturally sensitive, tailored engagement and communication delivered through the correct platforms is vital to improve understanding, trust, confidence and, ultimately, healthcare outcomes for our diverse communities. The Observatory is focused on turning evidence and insight into practical actions for change.’

And chief executive of Intent Health, Dr Jane Brearley, said: ‘It’s a huge privilege for us to be working with the NHS Race and Health Observatory to help improve the way our health services communicate and engage with the Jewish community. Finding ways to address health inequities and develop messages that help improve outcomes for everyone goes to heart of what Intent Health does best.’

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