Summary of report content
Healthwatch Salford undertook a research project to understand the health care needs of women after undertaking a similar project with men. They undertook a survey to which 135 women responded during the period March to August 2020 and ran four focus groups in which 19 women took part.
Most women had a good idea of what they needed for a healthy life. They had largely positive experiences of using services but had poor awareness of the services that should be available to them. Less than one in five felt that the services didn’t understand or they weren’t sure if they understood their needs as women.
Physical exercise, staying connected with people and eating well were the most popular ways in which the women looked after themselves. Women spoke of how involvement in activity got them through difficult situations, including aiding recovery from addiction. Lack of knowledge or education, financial pressures, family responsibilities and societal and cultural issues acted in some cases as barriers to doing activities.
Nearly nine in ten women who were eligible had a cervical smear test and over four in five had had breast screening. Over a quarter of the women aged between 40 and 74 weren’t aware they could have an NHS health check with their GP.
The women had a number of suggestions for change, including better access to female health professionals, affordable women only leisure and exercise sessions, family friendly clinics and waiting rooms, involving women when designing services for women and free or low cost classes or information on food and nutrition, managing money, and English as a second language.