Health and Faith report

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Bromley carried out a research project in the London Borough of Bromley considering the health and social care needs and experiences of seldom heard communities through contacting different faith groups. The aim of the project was to hear experiences of seldom heard faith groups in the London Borough of Bromley and to engage with communities that may not be regular service users. They spoke to 100 people from the Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Muslim faiths.

Some participants that reported barriers in access to services reported issues with access to primary care services. This was associated to consistent difficulties in contacting services and getting an appointment at a convenient time. Participants highlighted the difficulty of getting through on the phone in the morning for a same day appointment. Some also reported highlighted lengthy waiting times to get an appointment.

 Personal faith has been described to aid the recovery process of negative health experiences through prayer and social support. It helps individuals to keep positive. Some participants reported how their reliance and faith in God supported their healing and relief from certain symptoms and conditions. Access to wider social contact arising from faith communities supports individuals in dealing with issues related to health is also linked to recovery.

Health professionals such as GPs were described as being understanding of cultural and religious needs by the majority of participants. Some Christians have reported that they are accessing a Christian GP practice which gives them more confidence that their religious needs will be considered. For most of the participants their faith was not recognised as a problem or barrier when accessing health and social care services.

There was an overall consensus that local health services meet all health needs. The Chartwell Unit and the orthopaedic unit at the Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH) have been highlighted as offering brilliant care. But some participants also commented on the long waiting times for certain operations and the fact that the A&E Service at the PRUH is understaffed which affects the quality of care received.

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General details

Report title 
Health and Faith report
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Bromley
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 27 April, 2021
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Health inequalities
Holistic support
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Focus group
Structured interview
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 
GP practice
Secondary care services 
Inpatient care
Urgent and emergency care services 
Accident & emergency

Details about conditions and diseases

Conditions or diseases 
Diabetes and other endocrinal, nutriotional and metabolic conditions
Types of long term conditions 
Cancer in the last 5 years
Mental health condition
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 
All people 18 and over
Specific ethnicity if known 
Any other Asian background
Any other Mixed/Multiple ethnic background
English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not known
Does the information include staff'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? 
Not applicable
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

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.