Statement from Healthwatch Central West London on the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd.

Healthwatch Central West London is committed to equality, inclusion, and fairness. We are opposed to all forms of racism, discrimination, and prejudice.

As the independent champion for people using local health and social care services, we believe that services must work well for all people in our communities. We amplify patient voices and remain committed to ensuring that our work is inclusive and accessible.

It has been a year since George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in the United States. At the time, we pledged to do more to listen to, learn from, and reach out to people from ethnic minorities in our communities. We pledged to do more to ensure that health and social care services work for people from ethnic minorities, and to make sure that the experiences of people from ethnic minorities were heard in conversations around health and social care provision.

We are proud of our work over the last year in meeting this pledge. As part of our ‘Your Experience Matters’ COVID-19 survey, we highlighted what local people from ethnic minorities have been telling us about their experiences during the pandemic. Through our Small Grants Programme, we worked with the French African Welfare Association (FAWA), Women’s Association for Networking and Development (WAND), and other local groups, holding focus groups and interviews on local people’s experiences using health and social care services in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea. We shared what people have been telling us with those who hold the power to make a difference. We published reports and presented to the Health and Wellbeing Board, Scrutiny Committee, local councillors, and health service commissioners.

Recent events, both in the UK and abroad, serve as a stark reminder of how far we collectively still must go in building an inclusive and equitable society. At Healthwatch Central West London we remain committed to working to drive this change. Health and social care services don’t work for any of us until they work for all of us.