Gypsy and Traveller Health Needs Assessment


A Wakefield District Gypsy and Traveller Health Needs Assessment (HNA) was undertaken in 2022, coordinated and produced by Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Exchange, in partnership with Wakefield Council.

Nationally, Gypsies and Travellers are known to have the worst outcomes of any ethnic group across areas including education, health, employment, criminal justice and hate crime1.  This HNA aimed to collect data to facilitate improved understanding of the health and wellbeing issues affecting the local Wakefield Gypsy and Traveller community, and to subsequently inform recommendations for change.


Interviews were undertaken with 15 community members and 8 stakeholders. Community members were adult male and female Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers from a range of accommodation settings and stakeholders were individuals who work with Gypsies and Travellers in a paid capacity.

This qualitative data was complemented by a literature review, a small-scale Heath Common Traveller Site resident survey, findings from resident meetings and locally available information.


A variety of deep rooted and interconnected issues affect the health and wellbeing of the Wakefield Gypsy and Traveller community. Within the report, findings are broadly categorised into four areas – health, accommodation, wider determinants of health, support and services.


The report includes ten headline recommendations, each supported by further sub-recommendations:

  1. Senior leadership of the health needs assessment recommendations.
  2. Improvements to the living conditions on the Heath Common Traveller Site.
  3. Improve access to services for children and young people, and maternity services.
  4. Educational opportunities for 0-19 to be increased for Gypsies and Travellers.
  5. Address hate crime and discrimination and increase opportunities for the celebration of Gypsy and Traveller culture.
  6. Improve the capacity across all systems (e.g. health and social care, police, housing etc.) to respond to the health and wellbeing needs of Gypsies and Travellers.
  7. Improve mental health and wellbeing outcomes for Gypsies and Travellers.
  8. Support Gypsies and Travellers facing structural housing barriers and high cost of living.
  9. Engagement and support for roadside families.
  10. Carer support.


  1. Women and Equalities Committee (2019). Tackling inequalities faced by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. London: House of Commons

Full Report

To download the full report, please click here: Wakefield Gypsy and Traveller Health Needs Assessment March 2023