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Satisfaction with social care services among South Asian and White British older people: the need to understand the system

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 June 2015

ROSALIND WILLIS*
Affiliation:
Centre for Research on Ageing, Social Sciences, University of Southampton, UK.
PRIYA KHAMBHAITA
Affiliation:
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton, UK.
PATHIK PATHAK
Affiliation:
Department of Sociology and Social Policy, Social Sciences, University of Southampton, UK.
MARIA EVANDROU
Affiliation:
Centre for Research on Ageing, Social Sciences, University of Southampton, UK.
*Corresponding
Address for correspondence: Rosalind Willis, Centre for Research on Ageing, 58/4111 Social Sciences, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK E-mail: r.m.willis@soton.ac.uk

Abstract

National surveys show that people from minority ethnic groups tend to be less satisfied with social care services compared with the white population, but do not show why. Research indicates that barriers to accessing services include lack of information, perceptions of cultural inappropriateness and normative expectations of care. Less research has examined the experience of minority ethnic service users after they access services. This study conducted in-depth interviews with 82 South Asian and White British service users and family carers, the majority of whom were older people. Thematic analysis was used. The key theme was understanding the social care system. Participants with a good understanding of the system were more able to adapt and achieve control over their care. Participants with a poor understanding were uncertain about how to access further care, or why a service had been refused. More White British than South Asian participants had a good understanding of the system. There was more in common between the South Asian and White British participants' experiences than might have been expected. Language was an important facilitator of care for South Asian participants, but ethnic matching with staff was less important. Recommendations include better communication throughout the care process to ensure service users and carers have a clear understanding of social care services and hence a better experience.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

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