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New film addresses racial inequity in healthcare

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A new Foundation-funded film about palliative care, produced by a team at King’s College London, has just been released. Featuring the perspectives of patients, bereaved relatives, and health professionals, the film aims to improve understanding of racial inequities in end-of-life care in the UK.

We have known for a long time that people from ethnically diverse groups are less likely to have a good death. This work provides timely guidance on how we can narrow the gap between those that receive the ‘best and most’ and ‘least and worst’ at the end of life.
Dr Sabrina Bajwah
Dr Sabrina Bajwah

Previous research, led by Dr Sabrina Bajwah, revealed that UK COVID-19 policies in palliative care during the pandemic disproportionally impacted people from ethnically diverse groups.

The findings showed that healthcare providers believed they were treating ethnically diverse patients fairly by providing equal care. In reality, they lacked understanding of the difference between equal and equitable care.

The outcomes of these policies and perceptions in UK palliative care services led to distress of many patients and families at the end of life.

What is the difference between equal and equitable care?

Equal care involves treating all patients the same and giving them the same resources regardless of their differences.

Equitable care, however, takes into account that some groups of people need more resources than other groups to achieve the same outcome.

Funding the film

We funded Dr Bajwah and her team with a Changing Policy and Practice Award. This award of £30,000 allows researchers to disseminate their findings wider than the scientific peer-reviewed press, with the aim of influencing healthcare and behaviour.

Using this funding, Dr Bajwah’s team set out to address the gap in understanding and to improve care for those at the end of life by developing an educational film for people working in palliative care.

To produce the film, they worked alongside a focus group of ethnically diverse patients and health professionals.

Watch the film here:

Sabrina Bajwah’s film is so important, and beautifully made. It should be compulsory viewing for everyone currently working or thinking about working in palliative care. The film’s call for a palliative care system that treat actual and potential patients equitably rather than equally is both clearly explained and compelling. We have to see what is currently broken in order to grow. Toby Porter, Chief Executive of Hospice UK