Alder Hey, in partnership with Contact, a charity for families with disabled children, Edge Hill University and the North West National Network of Parent Carer forums (NW NNPCF) has been awarded a grant from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) for a project which focuses on finding out what deters under-represented communities in the North West from accessing health care and create solutions to improve access.
Research suggests disabled and neurodivergent children and young people from under-served communities have less access to healthcare and experience poorer health outcomes.
Disability charity Contact reports that children, young people and families from communities such as Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups and Traveller communities can face discrimination, disadvantage and exclusion and have less choice and control about their health care.
“This is a really important project that will allow Alder Hey and partners to really get into the heart of these communities in the North West, speak to families directly about the challenges they face and work with them to come up with practical solutions that will help them access the care their child so desperately needs.”Joann Kiernan Co Principal Investigator, Consultant Learning Disability Nurse at Alder Hey and senior lecturer at Edge Hill
Mary Mulvey-Oates, co-chief investigator from Contact, said: “This work will help us understand and support families from communities who face the biggest challenges in being listened to and getting the health care they need for their disabled or neurodivergent child.”
So far, research in this area has been limited. However the £120,000 funding from NIHR will help researchers, charities and services work together to improve provision and access to healthcare.