Our project has told us many differing things in the course of interviewing over one hundred Romani and Traveller people. We have also learned, from the literature survey we carried out, a number of other points related to the health and wellness of Romani and Traveller families, which we can summarise here:
• The health status of Romani and Traveller communities in Wales, is almost certainly much poorer than that of the general population, as recorded in our interviews;
• Poor access to health provision, for a variety of reasons, is a major factor impacting upon Romani and Traveller health, according to our project;
• Mistrust and reluctant uptake of health services in Wales amongst Romani and Traveller families, also contributes to poor health outcomes in the communities, we were told by our families;
• Romani and Traveller communities’ health receives little consistent attention in policy and strategy documents on health inequalities in Wales but rather punctuated reporting at various points when advocacy proves effective, as we surveyed the documentation;
• Budgets targeting improving health outcomes for Romani and Traveller families are not clearly defined;
• Examples of good practice exist, as the stories tell us, but these need to be understood and replicated across more localities and incorporated into training for health professionals
The aim of this project has been to explore the health experiences of Romani and Traveller families, specifically in relation to early childhood, in order to understand their perspective around accessing health services and provision, capturing their experiences through storytelling, using digital media. The project also intends to inform future actions of health services and professionals to meet the needs of these communities, appropriately and in a culturally sensitive manner, and strengthen the relationships between Romani and Traveller communities and health services’ professionals across Wales. A future development to improve Romani and Traveller families’ understanding of health services and provision, increase their knowledge about access and availability to such services and provision, is an additional, longer term aim.