Worcester News Article – 15th June

Diversity and inclusion is at the heart of what we do at Healthwatch Worcestershire. We are committed to actively working to break down stereotypes, remove barriers, give a voice to those who are seldom heard and ensuring equality of opportunity for all when accessing local health and social care services.
Public Health England has published a report which showed the disproportionate effect Covid-19 has had on people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities. Its findings show that coronavirus has both replicated existing health inequalities and, in some cases, increased them. We have written to the Director of Public Health for Worcestershire to ask for further information about how the findings of the report are reflected in Worcestershire and what actions will be taken locally to address any risks identified.
As part of our work to gather local feedback about experiences of health and care services during Covid-19, we have been proactively encouraging people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities to complete our survey. We have provided paper copies of the survey to people who are homeless and others unable to access the survey online and developed an Easy Read survey to gather feedback from people with a learning disability and Autism.
June is traditionally Pride month, when events are held to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) equality. So we are pleased we are now able to share the findings of our LGBT+ engagement, about experiences of health and care services and request a response to the recommendations from local commissioners and providers. While many adults told us that services showed an understanding of them as an LGBT+ individual, many also said they had experienced barriers and inequalities. 44% of adults told us they did not feel mental health services showed an understanding of LGBT+ and 81% of young people told us they had experienced negative attitudes from others relating to sexuality or gender identity. Our recommendations include increasing LGBT+ awareness and visibility, the availability of specific information, the importance of collection of data and the need to provide advice and support for young people who identify as LGBT+.
Visit www.healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk to complete our Covid-19 survey, to read our LGBT+ Report and for information about our work – or contact us to have your voice heard – info@healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk / 01386 550264.