LGBT+ Experiences of Health and Social Care Services

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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.

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General details

Report title 
LGBT+ Experiences of Health and Social Care Services
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Worcestershire
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 31 March, 2020
Type of report 
Report
Key themes 
Access
Building and facilities
Communication between staff and patients
Health inequalities
Health promotion
Health protection
Holistic support
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Staff attitudes
Staff levels
Healthwatch reference number 
Rep-7561

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
What type of organisation requested the work 
N/A
Primary research method used 
Survey
How was the information collected? 
Research
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
N/A

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice
Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Community services 
Other

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
106
Age group 
All
Gender 
All
Ethnicity 
All
Specific ethnicity if known 
All
Sexual orientation 
NA
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
No
Does the information include staff's views? 
No
Does the information include other people's views? 
No
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Mixed

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Yes
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Not known
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
No
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
No

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.