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To: FAO: Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council Cabinet

Save our Wirral Community Health Project: BME Health Improvement Service

We’re pleased to let you know that we gained 3,589 signatures as part of our petition and thanks to you our project has been saved for another year! So, thank you!

That means, our vital service will continue to reach people from vulnerable and hidden communities who otherwise would not access support with their health and wellbeing.

But it doesn’t end there. We still need your support. Plans beyond March 2017 are unclear. We want to ensure that Wirral Council continue to uphold its Public Sector Equality Duty and continues to commission tailored services to meet the diverse needs of Wirral’s BME communities.

Save the BME Health Improvement Service so it can continue to provide support to vulnerable and hidden diverse communities in Wirral.

We, the undersigned, request that:
• The BME Health Improvement Service be re-commissioned to continue to support the needs of BME communities as it has done for the past 3 years.
• Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council recognise its duty under the Equality Act 2010 to meet the needs of BME communities.

Why is this important?

With the latest round of funding cuts, comes the threat by Wirral Council to decommission a vital health service that works with vulnerable and hidden diverse communities, the BME Health Improvement Service.

The service was commissioned by Public Health in 2013 to respond to the issue of poor uptake and representation of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in mainstream health improvement services, despite BME communities having disproportionate levels of ill health compared to the general population. If the service is decommissioned the Council will breach it’s Public Sector Equality Duty (section 149 of the Equality Act 2010) and fail to meet the diverse needs of BME communities and fail to address the issue of disproportionately low participation in mainstream services.

The service has been a hugely successful one, overachieving in its reach to Wirral’s diverse communities and positive health improvement outcomes for those accessing the service. The project has; engaged with 2,402 BME residents via health campaigns, provided level 1 health intervention (brief advice and signposting) to 1,286 and level 2 health intervention (reported health improvement and referral to specialist service) to 640 BME residents. 83% of interventions resulted in improved health and wellbeing via EQ5D and sWEMWBS (Public Health endorsed tools to measure health outcomes).

The project engages with new BME residents year on year and there is need now more than ever for such a service with the new influx of communities arriving in Wirral, including refugee and asylum communities, which the Council has a duty to support. Local BME charities see over 4000 new BME residents a year.

BME communities are faced with multiple barriers which prevent them from accessing services, including; language, culture, unawareness of their rights and entitlements and what services are available locally. A ‘one size fits all’ service fails to meet the needs of vulnerable and diverse communities and will result in BME residents’ health deteriorating, an increase in undiagnosed health issues and it will ultimately cost the NHS more when these BME residents present at crisis point within NHS hospital services.



Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL

Reasons for signing

  • An important service doing great work.
  • If we can't protect the most vulnerable in our community, what does that say about our humanity?
  • Wirral Change provide an essential service


2016-11-17 20:41:17 +0000

Petition is successful with 850 signatures

2016-06-15 11:51:13 +0100

Petition is successful with 3,589 signatures

2016-01-28 16:42:22 +0000

500 signatures reached

2016-01-26 12:32:35 +0000

100 signatures reached

2016-01-25 22:17:51 +0000

50 signatures reached

2016-01-25 20:07:40 +0000

25 signatures reached

2016-01-25 18:50:06 +0000

10 signatures reached