Summary of report content
Healthwatch Worcestershire engaged with adults in Worcestershire identifying as LGBT+ via focus groups and a survey. We were interested in finding out what people think about health and social care services in the county and whether they feel understood as an LGBT+ person when using these services. 88 people completed our survey and 18 people took part in two focus groups as part of our engagement.
The findings from our survey suggest that many adults who identify as LGBT+ feel the health services they have accessed have shown an understanding of them as an LGBT+ individual, including GP practices and Hospitals and in particular Accident and Emergency Departments and Sexual Health services. Generally, people reported feeling comfortable or somewhat comfortable discussing their health needs with a healthcare professional and able to talk to someone if they experienced negative attitudes in relation to their sexuality or gender identity. However, the survey findings and engagement feedback also suggest that many LGBT+ people in Worcestershire feel they have experienced barriers and inequalities when accessing local health services. Across all the health services some respondents told us they did not feel there was an understanding of them as an LGBT+ person. In particular, 44% of respondents told us they did not think mental health services showed an understanding of LGBT+. Specific issues highlighted by adults and young people included: lack of LGBT+ visibility and representation within health services, a need for increased awareness and training, assumptions being made on the basis of sexuality and gender identity, and information and data collection systems not accounting for diversity of gender and sexuality. Many adults were not aware of how to raise a complaint should they experience negative attitudes in relation to their gender identity or sexuality. Many of the young people we spoke to had concerns about confidentiality when talking to health professionals.