The BAME Health Collaborative (BHC) has recently been set up as a charity to address the disproportionate health inequalities amongst BAME communities with a view to positively impacting the health outcomes. BHC was founded by Michaelene Holder-March to advocate on access to and quality of treatments; clinical guidelines; risk factors; causes of morbidity and mortality, by actively engaging with the institutions in the healthcare eco-system responsible for designing pathways and writing clinical guidelines. BHC Trustees, Ambassadors, Special Advisers, Community Leads and Community Champions are a diverse group of leaders representing different sectors.
In the UK, shortcomings in healthcare offered to BAME staff and patients are well documented. It is also an established fact that systemic causes of suboptimal care require interventions at the institutional level for real change. Data trends in BAME health indicators, alongside community health promotion programmes, economic investment in community health, active participation of BAME community in policy and decision-making are all essential to push the boundaries of healthcare provisions. Using data and predictive modelling, BHC has been diligently working to agree to a small number of achievable initiatives that in combination have the power to improve healthcare and reduce poor health outcomes for BAME staff and individuals.
Speaking on the launch of the initiative, BHC Founder Michaelene Holder-March said: “BHC aspires to serve as the ‘backbone health review organisation’, which will demand to be at the table where decisions are made regarding healthcare provisions. Success will depend upon meaningful collaborations and partnership efforts of BAME and non-BAME communities to drive change for all, including future generations.
Data Transparency: BHC believes that better BAME data = informed decisions about our health and healthcare. BHC will gather clinical data, conduct surveys and studies on health and healthcare to push for qualitative improvement, facilitate shared learning, and provide valuable information for future planning of healthcare delivery.
Health Technology Usage, Interoperabilityand Informatics: BHC will actively encourage BAME communities to participate in healthcare technology design and rollout programmes that support population health management. This change in behaviour will facilitate data sharing, which in turn will ensure that BAME patients receive the right care, at the right time.
Quality Improvement: BHC is one of the first organisations in the UK that aims to bring together government policies, hospitals, post-acute providers, nursing homes and care homes to transform the health and care of BAME staff and individuals as they move through the care system. Our upcoming report on BAME Care Transitions Collaborative strives to reduce readmissions and appropriate discharge & transfers. The report will also address encouraging advance care planning, empowering patients to better manage medications, increasing patient safety, and reducing disparities in care. We have engaged more than 121 healthcare and non-healthcare professionals to help them attain and achieve BAME Health Collaborative goals, therefore allowing the opportunity for transformation into healthcare practices in sustainable ways.
Together We Can: The BAME community is obliged to come together to discover and contribute to what is necessary to develop key elements to keep a status of optimum health and well-being. As a community, wemust help tackle the health disparities that exist in our day-to-day care, places of employment and in our families. We have not forgotten our neighbours and religious communities; each one of us is a link in our BHC chain to create change, be informed and remain healthy.
Do you have a story to share? Are you interested in our journey? We would love to hear from you.
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Tricia Z George