Experiences of health and care in Sheffield's trans community

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Sheffield decided to investigate the experiences of health and care in Sheffield's trans community after being contacted directly by trans and non-binary service users about the problems they were facing locally. This information was reinforced by organisations that support and represent the city's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) residents. Healthwatch Sheffield contacted local groups that support LGBTQ adults and young people, SAYiT and Transactive, who agreed to work with them to collect experiences. Two focus groups were held on the 14th March 2018 and the 16th April 2018. There were also opportunity to participate online for those who couldn't attend. Porterbrook Clinic arranged for Healthwatch Sheffield to listen directly to the views of service users privately on the 19th April 2018, and a workshop held on the 30th April 2018 was also implemented to bring together trans and non-binary service users, clinical staff and operational leads from health and care services. The key themes found from the focus groups were: awareness of trans and non-binary identities, terminology and gender pronouns, communication, waiting times, consequences of waiting for treatment, staff attitudes, fear and stigma, and healthcare staff as 'gatekeepers'. 6 service users shared their experiences, with Healthwatch Sheffield using the questions from the focus groups as prompts for conversation and to initiative discussion. People highlighted issues with long waiting times for initial assessments and then between appointments, which put extra stress on how crucial communication between the service and patients was during these periods of waiting. Long waiting times had serious effects on physical and mental health, leading some people to self-medicate, self-harm, and have suicidal thoughts. The findings from the workshop highlighted the barriers trans and non-binary communities have in accessing services. Recommendations from this report are: to increase support in primary care, to proactively manage waiting times, to coordinate cultural change in health and care settings, to adopt a 'Do ask, Do tell' approach, and to embed shared decision making and co-design. NHS Sheffield CCG circulated a flyer through their newsletter as an immediate action following the workshop.

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General details

Report title 
Experiences of health and care in Sheffield's trans community
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Sheffield
Date of publication 
Thursday, 21 March, 2019
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 14 March, 2018
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 30 April, 2018
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Holistic support
Information providing
Integration of services
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Public involvement
Quality of appointment
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes
Waiting time to be seen once arrived at appointment
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Other information of note about this report 
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
How was the information collected? 
Engagement Event
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Community pharmacy
Dentist (non-hospital)
GP practice
Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Social care services 
Adult social care
Community services 

Details about conditions and diseases

What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known
What type of impact was determined? 
Tangible impact (not cost related)

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.