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Health of The Region Blog

How we’re working to tackle health inequalities in the West Midlands

Welcome to our new blog giving insight into how we’re working to tackle the health inequalities the West Midlands faces.

Let me tell you more about the Core Group before we get started. I’m Amrick Singh Ubhi, and I work as Director of Civic Engagement & Partnerships at the Nishkam Centre, in Handsworth, Birmingham.

I’m delighted to have been appointed to be the chair of a group looking at ways to tackle these inequalities.

Community work and faith for me are integral and the same side of the coin. My Sikh faith, or Dharam in Gurmukhi (Sikhi mother tongue – literal translation – from the Guru’s blessed mouth) informs me that we have a ‘duty to all creation’ whilst residing on the planet.

Having worked for many years as an organisational/business transformation consultant with some amazing clients and renowned organisations, this did not allow me to dedicate as much time as would like to the service of others. The opportunity to join the Nishkam Civic Association and fulfil this ambition on a full time basis was a blessing some 15 years ago.

It is incumbent upon us all to ensure that we look out for the other, work collaboratively, create cohesion, speak up for those disenfranchised or marginalised, never shy away for speaking up for justice and inequality wherever it may raise its head.

How the group was established

Our independent Core Group was born out of Roundtable events following the publication of the Health of the Region report in 2020.

As we come to revisit that report later this Spring the new Core Group has been set up bringing in experience from select members across community and health & wellbeing organisations. These include members with a statutory duty to tackle health inequalities. Members include representatives from the following:

  • Voluntary, Community and Faith Sector: leaders from the VCF organisations that serve the local community
  • Health and Wellbeing System: including local public health leaders, NHS and Department for Health & Social Care

West Midlands Combined Authority: encompassing the wellbeing and prevention functions.

We will be reaching out to our networks over the coming months to unearth the challenges behind health inequalities identified in the Health of the Region Report.

How the group will work

I have been appointed alongside the Co-Vice Chairs Salma Yaqoob (Birmingham & Solihull ICS) and Jacynth Ivey (Inspiring Hope).

We are grateful to the West Midlands Combined Authority for pulling this group together to enable more participation and input from different sources and promote closer collaboration and co-production.

The role of the Chair and Co-Vice Chairs will allow the community groups to see individuals from within their respective communities and the community representatives that we have on the group should give comfort to those who previously may not have engaged with statutory agencies or partners.

This will further build trust and confidence and promote better communication and dialogue to make a positive impact. As my heart and soul is in communities, I will do my upmost to make sure that the actions and areas for improvement identified within the Health of the Region Report and subsequent work are brought to fruition in the best possible way.

Together this group will draw on the experience and expertise of its members as we embark on this journey and I look forward to bringing you regular updates through this blog on its work going forward.

Coronavirus dealt a blow to the health of the region leaving everyone touched by the force of this devastating pandemic in the West Midlands. It brought to the fore the complex intricacies and factors there are sometimes over-generalised and masked with terms like deprivation, poverty or inequalities.

The whole Roundtable and Core Group are passionate about bringing about improvements and we will attempt to overcome the challenges by working together and ensuring even greater collaboration. However, none of this would be possible if we are not engaging, speaking and hearing what the communities are struggling with. It is crucial that those representing communities and engaging with them as trusted anchor organisations are present at the round table and feeding to the Core Group.

It will be our role to listen to people, find out what they feel is impacting their health and what changes they would like to see. We will also welcome thoughts and input from the wider networks and encourage you to get in touch with the members of the group.

For more information on the Health of the Region Report click this link where there will also be updates on work to revise its findings in the coming weeks.

You can also read the full report.

If you would like to join the roundtable events, please contact: