Accessibility and equity of health and social care services: exploring the views and experiences of Bangladeshi carers in South Wales, UK

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Abstract

There is a paucity of information regarding the extent and nature of caring provided by minority ethnic communities. The proportion of older people from these communities will dramatically increase in the next 20 years, which will be accompanied by increasing health and social care needs and an increased demand for carers. A qualitative, exploratory study was conducted to identify the health and social care needs of informal carers, who were caring for a dependent adult from a Bangladeshi community in South Wales, UK. This paper focuses on Bangladeshi carers' access to formal support services provided by the statutory, private and voluntary sectors to assist them with their caring responsibilities. The findings are based on data collected using face-to-face, focused interviews with 20 Bangladeshi carers. Purposive and snowball sampling were used to recruit the sample. The data were analysed using thematic content analysis. The dimensions of accessibility and equity of quality of care were drawn upon to aid understanding of the findings. Bangladeshi carers faced a number of barriers in accessing health and social service provision, which impeded uptake of these services. Additionally, there was evidence of inequity in service provision. Recommendations for improving the accessibility of health and social care services are proposed, which may assist in promoting more equitable services for carers from the Bangladeshi community.

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