To receive an update on work to tackle racism and inequalities in Haringey.
Charlotte Pomery, Assistant Director for Commissioning, and Geoffrey Ocen, Bridge Renewal Trust Chief Executive, provided an update on the nine point action plan to tackle racism and inequalities that had been agreed at the Health and Wellbeing Board meeting in May 2020. It was noted that the wider programme was overseen by the Health and Wellbeing Board and Community Safety Partnership through their joint meeting which was expected to take place in June 2021.
It was explained that the Bridge Renewal Trust had hosted an annual progress review meeting on 27 May 2021. This allowed Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) groups to hear feedback from across the partnership and provided an opportunity for new groups to join the conversation.
Updates were provided on the nine point action plan:
1. Data and evidence – it was noted that it was important not to generalise different groups and that the categories used for ethnicity and nationality were being reviewed to align with those used by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). It was noted that the categories were being shared with communities for feedback. It was added that a Turkish and Kurdish network had been established and that a Somali network was being developed.
2. Funding – it was explained that there had been some progress but that funding for grassroots organisations remained challenging. It was also reported that the North Central London CCG had recently established an Inequalities Fund with just over £1 million to tackle inequalities.
3. Bereavement and Mental Health – it was explained that digital resources were being put in place and that this was anticipated to provide important, initial support in communities where there were stigmas around mental health.
4. Domestic Violence – it was stated that an additional advocate had been appointed to work with women from diverse backgrounds.
5. Communication and awareness raising – it was explained that this involved building trust as well as communicating information. It was noted that the Community Protect work had been important in engaging with different communities. It was added that some community journalism had also been developed at Wood Green Library.
6. Prevention and resilience building – it was noted that there was still a need to build relationships and that this could be developed through Haringey’s Good Economy Recovery Plan as well as across different areas and departments.
7. Shielding – it was reported that this element of the plan had been paused slightly. It was noted that it was important for people to feel safe and that this was assisted through the Covid-19 vaccination programme.
8. Equitable access to services – it was noted that an equity access tool was being developed to establish the current position and to monitor the impact of any initiatives.
9. Digital Exclusion – it was explained that there had been a project at Leigh Valley Primary School which provided access to laptops and support for families. It was noted that this had significantly increased homework participation rates. It was also noted that the Haringey Digital Divide Appeal had provided approximately £40,000 to allocate locally. The Community Health and Care Advisory Board (CHACAB) had commented that it would be beneficial to consider how those in care homes and supported living could be included in digital inclusion work and to consider how to evaluate the impact of this digital inclusion work; this was being considered.
Geoffrey Ocen thanked the Health and Wellbeing Board for its continued interest and involvement in tackling racism and racial inequality. He noted that the VCS and communities welcomed this and the commitment to focusing on practical issues and improvements. He explained that local people wanted to know what would change and how they could be more involved and he noted that resourcing and funding was critical for empowerment. Geoffrey Ocen welcomed the NHS Inequality Fund that had been recently established and noted that there was a concerted effort to channel all available funding into grassroots organisations; it was noted that approximately £2.5 million of funding had been allocated since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cllr Zena Brabazon noted that it would be useful to compile a list of all of the projects that had received funding and the sources of funding. She explained that it would be useful for future planning to consider which actions had been the most important and impactful. The Assistant Director for Commissioning noted that this could be considered but highlighted that the sources of funding and projects were complex, including council, national, and NHS involvement.
Sharon Grant, Healthwatch Haringey Chair, added that the nine point plan was large and involved various funding sources and that it would be useful to have an independent evaluation at some point. Members noted that evaluation was important and that other organisations, including local universities, might be able to assist. The Assistant Director for Commissioning explained that partners were regularly involved in the nine point action plan and that regular updates were provided to both the Health and Wellbeing Board and the Community Health and Care Advisory Board (CHACAB). She noted that it was considered vital that the connection with the CHACAB and the Health and Wellbeing Board was maintained so that various partners could feedback on and input to the action plan to redesign approaches and services.
The Interim Director of Public Health noted that, in relation to health service delivery, the Covid-19 vaccination programme had looked at uptake by different groups within the community. He stated that this should be measured routinely in all areas if possible and that it was useful to hear from residents. He added that this sort of data and verbal evidence did not necessarily need to come from an external evaluator. The Chair noted that including residents’ voices in all areas was important but felt that external evaluation was also valuable.
To note the update.