We are seeking to understand how the Memory Assessment Service in Brighton and Hove can connect more meaningfully with people of colour with memory problems and their loved ones.
The community that we serve in Brighton and Hove is diverse in intersectional ways. Our service is grounded in an understanding that each person who comes to us with memory problems has a unique life experience and it is our job to offer them as personalised a service as we can. We want to ensure that everyone has an appropriate and affirmative experience of our service and that means we need to understand needs in detail and keep asking questions of ourselves and the wider system. Based on this principle, we are currently developing a workstream that will help us to understand more about the needs of people of colour in Brighton and Hove in relation to our service.
We have identified this as a priority in part as a result of our work to understand the needs of LGBTQ+ people in Brighton and Hove alongside the development of our digital communications strategy. We have explored the data we hold about the people who use our service and we can see that people of colour are not meaningfully represented within our service. This has generated questions for us and for our partners who are also seeing a similar issue. This is a challenge we do not want to ignore because we know that evidence shows that black people are more likely to develop dementia than any other ethnic group.
Our intention with this collaboration is to:
We know that in many parts of our community there are challenges for people to talk about their experiences of memory loss and dementia. We believe it is likely that these barriers are amplified for people of colour in Brighton and Hove because they are likely to be experiencing increased discrimination from the legal and healthcare systems.
The data points to our practices and approaches in the Memory Assessment Services being potentially discriminatory or excluding for people of colour. We want to understand how these barriers and forms of discrimination are being experience by people and to remove them as much as we can.
If you’d like to explore ways we could collaborate together to help people live well with memory loss and dementia we’d love to hear from you.