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Health Overview

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"Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." - World Health Organization, 1948

Being healthy requires a balance of both psychical and mental health. Healthy ageing is an endless ambition with no age attached to it, however as we grow older, our bodies and minds can fundamentally change and become vulnerable limiting how one chooses to live and receive care.


There are a number of health inequalities relating to minority ethnic older people. Black and minority ethnic populations are the highest users of primary care services, yet they are less likely to gain access to appropriate health services and treatment and they report the worst health outcomes. PRIAE has in particular drawn policymakers and mainstream organisations attentions to the problems of diabetes and coronary heart disease in minority ethnic communities through the 'What works for us' project. In particular the health of Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian and Black Caribbean groups are at increased risk of diabetes, coronary arteries disease, arthritis, stroke, and respiratory disorders which increase the risk of becoming dependant or needing a higher level of care.

Similarly in Scotland, PRIAE designed, developed and implemented ts work on multiple and complex health needs called the SCEES development.


Through extensive research, we know there are a number of barriers which minority communities face when accessing or using health and social care services including palliative care services. These include:

  • Members of black and minority ethnic communities sometimes have little confidence that services will meet cultural, linguistic or religious needs.
  • Interpreting services are in short supply, are inadequately advertised and often have limited funding.
  • Poor access to services: potential clients may be unaware that services exist, or uncertain whether they may use the services.
  • Public sector providers assuming, often incorrectly, that minority ethnic communities have strong community/family support networks.


Website prepared by Kajal Shah 2013