First Community, as part of Children and Family Health Surrey, launches Surrey-wide Gypsy, Roma and Traveller health outreach programme

Published on 26/03/2019

In April 2019 First Community, as part of Children and Family Health Surrey (CFHS), launches a two year outreach programme to improve the health of local Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities. The project, which is the first Surrey-wide GRT health initiative, has been commissioned by Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership.


The outreach project builds on the success of a recent GRT health improvement project carried out in the east of Surrey by First Community’s 0 – 19 Homeless Health Team led by Lisa Gavin. This project was funded by the Queen’s Nursing Institute and provided care and support to GRT communities in east Surrey in innovative new ways.


The new Surrey-wide project will be delivered by a specialist GRT team, under Lisa Gavin’s leadership. Lisa said: ‘We are thrilled to be expanding our GRT health advocacy and outreach programme to the rest of Surrey. The team will build on our existing relationships with local Traveller communities and develop new connections so we can provide support and care to   GRT communities,  who typically have less contact with NHS services and their health needs and outcomes can be different to other local people’.


The specialist GRT health team will also provide training to other healthcare staff so they too can support Traveller communities. ‘Sharing our specialist knowledge with other healthcare professionals and working closely with partners, including Surrey Heartlands maternity services, is a key part of this project and will help to improve health outcomes for the local GRT community now and in the future’, Lisa added.


Surrey has the fourth largest GRT population of any UK county with the GRT population estimated at around 10,000 - 12,000. Research continues to show life expectancy is lower for GRT people and their health needs are not fully met by traditional NHS services.


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For more information contact: Jenny Rawlinson or Maddy Sciberras at  First Community, 01737 775 462


Notes for editors:

First Community is an award-winning organisation which is part of the NHS family delivering community healthcare services in east Surrey and the surrounding area. We offer a friendly face with highly rated, well-run services, delivered by our skilled people. We provide high-quality nursing and therapy services, children and family services as well as a rehabilitation ward and minor injury unit at Caterham Dene Hospital. First Community was rated overall Outstanding by CQC in 2017.


Visit  for more information about First Community.


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Children and Family Health Surrey services are provided under one contract by three established NHS providers: CSH Surrey, First Community Health and Care and Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Trust.


Visit for more information about Children and Family Health Surrey.


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