Improving information collection to help improve services


Northern Ireland is now home to an increasingly culturally diverse population – the most recent Census in 2011 identified that 1.8 per cent (32,400) of the resident population of Northern Ireland belonged to Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Groups, more than double the proportion in the 2001 Census.

A recent report Challenging Racism Ending Hate conducted by two academics in Queens University Belfast illustrated the many benefits that migration had yielded in Northern Ireland and its findings were significant in that they disproved many of the stereotypes held about the migrant population.

Its key findings included:

  • Migrant workers contributed about £1.2bn to the economy from 2004 to 2008 ethnicmonitoringinternet.jpg
  • 4% of the Northern Ireland workforce is made up of migrant workers
  • 3% of the total number of pupils attending school in Northern Ireland are ethnic minorities
  • 81.5% of migrants in the UK are employed
  • Less than 5% of EU migrants claim Jobseekers Allowance
  • The cost of temporary migrants using the health service amounted to about £12m of the £109bn NHS budget

This growth in cultural diversity has implications for the provision of public services, not least so the delivery of health and social care. In recognition of the need to provide responsive services, a regional HSC project has been underway to improve monitoring of ethnicity via the Trust Information Systems. Ethnic monitoring by the Trust as a large service provider is key in helping to promote racial equality and in informing service delivery and meet the needs of the population we serve.

The project began in NIMATS- the Information System for maternity services but is being rolled out across other information systems. The following materials have been produced to be displayed in waiting rooms and wards to increase awareness and to inform service users of the reasons for this monitoring. This information will also be translated into the top 5 languages in coming weeks.

Read the Ethnic Monitoring Leaflet  
See the Ethnic Monitoring Poster