Early on in pandemic, there was growing research evidence that showed how people from ethnic minorities in the UK were experiencing a disproportionate impact from Coronavirus (COVID-19), in particular, older adults from the Asian populations. This was significant, considering that ethnic minority groups, and more specifically those from Asian backgrounds, make up 14% and 7.5% of the population of England and Wales.

People from ethnic minorities faced barriers to accessing key government guidance about COVID-19 and the guidance that was available did not represent cultural nuance or difference, for example around multi-generational homes or shared living accommodation.

Our approach

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Kent, Surrey and Sussex (ARC KSS) funded research into how best to communicate with Nepali and Hindi-speaking communities about COVID-19.

Researchers connected with older adults and family members from Nepalese and Indian communities, and healthcare professionals (working within those communities). Together, they explored the health needs of these communities, including experience of lockdown, knowledge and sources of COVID-19 information, use of preventative measures and health services, and opinions about heath information required. This work was supported by Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network (KSS AHSN).

The research culminated in the publication of co-produced leaflets in January 2021, covering the basic public health information on COVID-19 at that time. However, rather than a direct translation, where vital information could get lost, the leaflets allowed for cultural nuances.

Our impact

  • The research, which was led by Professor Priya Paudyal, whilst at Brighton & Sussex Medical School, has been published in BMJ Open and provides best practice guidance on how health information can be optimised for older people from ethnic minorities in terms of content, format and cultural relevance.
  • Positive feedback was received from members of ethnic minority communities and healthcare professionals serving these communities

“We’ve been struggling to find official NHS or government translations in Nepalese, so this is really helpful as we have a significant Nepali population locally.” NHS North East Hampshire & Farnham

“The leaflet is clear and comprehensive, cannot wait to share among our communities.” Community Lead, Nepalese