Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans+ (LGBT+) experiences of health and social care services in York

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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.

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General details

Report title 
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans+ (LGBT+) experiences of health and social care services in York
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch York
Date of publication 
Saturday, 1 September, 2018
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 22 January, 2018
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 2 April, 2018
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Complaints procedure
Health inequalities
Information providing
Quality of care
Staff attitudes
Staff training
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 
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
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
Accident & emergency
Urgent and emergency care services 
Accident & emergency

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? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
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? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

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.