Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans+ (LGBT+) experiences of health and social care services in YorkDownload (PDF 848KB)
Summary of report content
This report presents the results of a joint Healthwatch York and York LGBT Forum survey looking at Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans+ (LGBT+) people’s experiences of health and social care services in York. This work was carried out as there was no local research on LGBT+ people’s experiences of accessing health and social care services, and there is national evidence demonstrating that LGBT+ people experience significant health inequalities.
Over half of the respondents to the survey had felt reluctant to disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity when accessing health and/or social care services in York. A quarter of those responding said they had experienced barriers to accessing services as an LGBT+ person. Negative attitudes had been experienced across a range of health providers: GPs, Accident and Emergency, hospital outpatient and inpatient services, and mental health. Comments indicated a perceived lack of knowledge and training about LGBT+ issues which led to respondents having to explain things multiple times and being asked inappropriate questions. There were also some clear examples of inappropriate questioning or language being used in health settings. Only one in five respondents knew how to report negative attitudes in health and social care settings. While over half would report such issues, the rest of the respondents said they were unsure or would not do so. There was concern about potential consequences of reporting problems, the view that nothing would happen or that they would not be taken seriously. The survey also found that people had difficulties in accessing services such as sexual health, mental health, gender identity services and clinics as well as other specialist services.
Healthwatch York and York LGBT Forum made four recommendations in the report, focused on reducing negative experiences by: treating all those accessing services with equal respect to ensure services are more inclusive; improving staff training to include more on LGBT+ issues and health care; ensuring complaints and concerns are dealt with in a sensitive and appropriate manner; and improving signposting and access to specialist services.