Men's health 2019/2020

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Herefordshire undertook research into men’s health as there is evidence that men fare worse than women in most health measures in Herefordshire and in the UK.   In addition, Healthwatch found that men tend to get less involved in surveys and giving feedback about services and health matters. Between July 2019 and March 2020 Healthwatch Herefordshire carried out a series of engagements with Herefordshire men in venues such as pubs, clubs, shops, and leisure facilities. A range of engagement tools were used to have conversations and raise awareness including quizzes, wall chart tick lists, question slips, and post boxes and 126 online and paper surveys were completed before the Covid-19 Pandemic curtailed activities.

Men are very willing to talk about their health once they are engaged. Often men do not make time for appointments are stressed and busy and do not prioritise themselves. They depend a little too much on others to keep them informed especially their wives instead of taking responsibility themselves.

Some men saw no point in going for health checks because they believe they are not or are sceptical about the benefits. Men were willing to talk about their health and wellbeing given a catalyst to start the conversation. Men agreed it is not something they generally converse about especially with other men in a leisure situation.

The research identified that traditional views of masculinity stigmatize and limit the emotions boys and men may comfortably express while elevating other emotions such as anger. It can be difficult for men to be openly vulnerable and ask for help and may be one reason why men seem to present at GP’s with symptoms later than women.

Older men felt it was too late to act to improve their health and wellbeing and younger men felt it didn’t apply to them – something they’d attend to when they are older. The beginnings of a tendency to procrastinate starts young.

There was a feeling that humour could be used more to get messages across. Encouraging talking and mutual support is key to helping men with physical and perhaps more particularly, mental health issues and men’s comments indicate that authentic personal stories and role models they trust can inspire them to act.

Men are not averse to health services proactively promoting initiatives and many men said they thought the project was a good idea and had made them think. Providing pubs, sports clubs, community buildings and leisure services with useful posters, information and resources and fun health quizzes, perhaps even offering talks might also be a good way to reach men that are delaying or avoiding taking action, to prevent health issues become more serious.

The report contains five recommendations about how to reach men with information and messages about health.

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General details

Report title 
Men's health 2019/2020
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Herefordshire
Date of publication 
Thursday, 29 April, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 1 July, 2019
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 16 March, 2020
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Health inequalities
Health promotion
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Service delivery organisation and staffing

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
Primary research method used 
Deliberative event
Engagement event
Survey
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)

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
126
Age group 
Not known
Gender 
Male
Ethnicity 
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Yes
Does the information include staff'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? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Yes
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
No
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

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.