What's it like to be a woman and homeless in Medway?

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Medway wanted to explore the experience of homeless women accessing healthcare.  They spoke to 5 women and 3 men.

Homeless women found it difficult to get a midwife appointment.  A woman who had had a miscarriage had to visit A&E for support.

Three women were registered with a GP, but one was far away and she couldn’t travel to the surgery.

The women talked about the importance of having a key worker to access healthcare.

They had mixed feedback about dentists and opticians.

They found it difficult to get the mental health support they needed.  All the homeless people found it difficult to access services which operate 9am to 5pm.

The discussion also covered substance misuse and housing issues.

The report contains two recommendations about the need for outreach services and a one stop shop for healthcare in the evenings.

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General details

Report title 
What's it like to be a woman and homeless in Medway?
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Medway
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 5 May, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 1 March, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 31 March, 2021
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Holistic support
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Service delivery organisation and staffing

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Engagement event
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 
Dentist (non-hospital)
GP practice
Optometry services
Secondary care services 
Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Community services 
Community based services for people who misuse substances
Urgent and emergency care services 
Accident & emergency

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Other population characteristics 
Homeless people
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? 
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? 
Not known

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.