A new ‘first of its kind’ survey is aiming to find out the healthcare needs of Lincolnshire’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
Lincolnshire LGBT+ Patient Group has launched the survey, which it claims is the first of its kind, and is asking LGBT people to complete the questions on health and social care services.
It hopes to encourage responses from a wide range of people including those who live in rural communities, older people and those who belong to other minority groups.
Chair of the Lincolnshire LGBT+ Patient Group Rachel Higgins said: “We are delighted to be supporting the very first LGBT+ patient survey in Lincolnshire and will be using the results to help improve local services.
“If you have anything to say – good or bad – about Lincolnshire health services, now is your chance to let us know!”
A spokesman said that national research and comments from local residents suggest LGBT people sometimes experience problems with health services, or may be unsure about how doctors and medical staff will react to discussions about LGBT issues.
They said that healthcare surveys elsewhere in the UK showed that two in five gay and bisexual men thought their GP had a clear policy on confidentiality, lesbian and bisexual women are twice as likely to have never had a smear test (compared to seven percent of women in general).
They said 54 per cent of transgender people had been told their doctors don’t know enough to help with aspects of their care.
Lincolnshire LGBT+’s anonymous survey has ben developed by LGBT+ patients and service users.
It is supported by Healthwatch Lincolnshire, an independent body set up to represent local health and social care service users.
The survey can be completed online at www.lincslgbt.co.uk and paper copies can be obtained by calling Healthwatch on 01205 820892.
A report on the results will be published by Healthwatch Lincolnshire in September 2015 and the findings will be presented to key NHS and social care personnel.
For more information on Healthwatch visit www.healthwatchlincolnshire.co.uk