Posts By / vheaslip

BU Gypsy, Roma, Traveller expert invited to contribute to a Governmental cross-departmental forum.

The gap in health service provision for Gypsy, Roma, and Travellers communities is well documented in Dr Vanessa Heaslips’ extensive research. Vanessa, an Associate Professor in the Department of Nursing Science was invited to present her work ‘“Inequalities in health of Gypsy, Roma, Traveller, Communities” to sixteen staff from departments including Dept of Education, Office for National Statistics, Minister of Housing and Communities, Department of Health, Department for Social care, Cabinet office and Dept for Work and Pension.

The presentation titled started with an introduction to ‘Alice, my husbands’ nan’. Alice was a Romany Gypsy and a member of the Showman community. It was being with Alice at the end of her life and witnessing the interactions between healthcare staff and herself which inspired the research. The presentation went on to explore on-going challenges such as poorer health outcomes, social exclusion, discrimination, and lack of cultural sensitivity that many Gypsy, Roma, Travellers face. As well as current problems posed by a lack of robust data collection as healthcare organisations do not use include Gypsy, Romany and Traveller as part of their ethnicity data collected. Dr Heaslip argues argued that failure to do so negatively impacts on developing robust public health initiatives to address these poorer health outcomes and is a key factor in understanding why so little progress have been made over the past two decades.


A wide ranging discussion regarding engaging with individuals in these communities ensured, and the session concluded with some thoughts as to how to move this significant national agenda forward. More information on this research is available from  and follow Vanessa on Twitter @HeaslipVanessa, @Nursing_BU, and @N4LTH

BU Book up for National Award

Professor Tim Darvill, Kerry Barrass, Yvette Staelens from the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology (BU) together with Dr Vanessa Heaslip from the Department of Nursing  Science (BU) worked with Laura Drysdale of the Restoration Trust to edit a book exploring how historic landscapes could support mental health well-being.


Our book titled ‘Historic Landscapes and Mental Health Well-being’ has been nominated as a contender in the 2021 Current Archaeology Book of the Year competition. This is fantastic news and really shows the benefits of cross disciplinary research and working.

Voting is open now at so do please cast your votes for the book, and encourage anyone else you can think of to do the same. Please also feel free to share this excellent news in your social media sites as it would be really excellent to win this award. The results will be announced at the Archaeology in Britain conference in February.

Please keep your fingers crossed for us and thank you for your votes

BU Research with people sleeping rough locally

Homelessness in the UK is a massive issue, with numbers increasing year by year. The South West region had the third highest number of rough sleepers in England in 2018.  Bournemouth is within the top 24 local authorities for highest numbers of homeless individuals.

There are big health inequalities for people who are homeless. The mean age of death for a woman living on the streets is 43 years and for a man 45 years.  This is almost half of the mean life expectancy of those living in homes. Yet people who are homeless, especially those living on the streets, find it incredibly difficult to navigate and access health and social care.

Drs Vanessa Heaslip, Sue Green, Bibha Simkhada (Department of Nursing Science) and Huseyin Dogan (SciTech) have been awarded a grant by the Burdett Trust for Nursing to identify potential technological solutions to promote self-care of people sleeping rough.  They aim to develop a freely available app, enabling navigation and access to resources to manage complex health and social care needs. The team from Bournemouth University will be working in partnership with a local GP from Medicine Providence Surgery, Street Support, Big Issue and Dorset Healthcare NHS Trust on this project.

If you would like any further information – please contact the lead researcher Dr Vanessa Heaslip on or 01202 961774