Look – Phase 1 of a Participatory Action Research cycle: Healthcare Discrimination: What is the experience of the Gypsy and Traveller Community?
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Background: Despite both anti-discrimination legislation and rhetoric that supports equality, Gypsies and Travellers represent the most marginalised ethnic group within the United Kingdom. In relation to healthcare experiences literature identifies both personal and structural discrimination as contributing to the significant health inequity between the Gypsy and Traveller community and their settled counterparts, an inequity that remains even when adjusted for socioeconomic factors. Despite evidence of such discrimination there is a dearth of literature relating to how Gypsies and Travellers experience discrimination within healthcare and how they perceive its impact. Aims and Methodology: This research proposal aims to identify discriminatory practices within healthcare as perceived by Gypsies and Travellers in order to bring about a deeper understanding of the context of such discrimination. It also aims to explore the impact that Gypsies and Traveller's perceive this discrimination to have. This proposal utilises a Participatory Action Research approach with the findings of this study being used to inform the following phases of the PAR. Conclusion/Implications for practice: It is hoped that findings from this research will add to our understanding of discrimination experienced by Gypsies and Travellers within healthcare and wider society. Furthermore, conscious raising around these experiences and their impact may give potential for dismantling such discrimination, and has possibilities for challenging both negative stereotypes and a monocultural approach to healthcare that serves to perpetually disadvantage such marginalised groups. Keywords: Gypsy; Traveller; Ethnicity; Discrimination; Healthcare; Participatory Action Research; Health.