Liverpool City Council is working with local charity Sahir House and a range of partners to undertake a health needs assessment with LGBTQ+ communities to better understand their experiences and the health inequalities they face.
To coincide with LGBTQ+ history month, Liverpool is launching its first dedicated health needs assessment (survey) for local LGBTQ+ people.
National evidence shows that LGBTQ+ people (lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning and ace) face inequalities relating to health and wellbeing throughout their lives – including barriers to accessing healthcare services.
A 2018 Stonewall survey also found that half of LGBTQ+ people had experienced depression in the previous year, and that a quarter of people had witnessed discrimination by healthcare staff.
The survey, which is the first for Liverpool will incorporate information from a range of sources, including national level evidence and data from the 2021 census.
The key findings will be used to design focus groups and explore the key issues identified in more depth.
It will also support Liverpool’s commitment to the UNICEF Child Friendly City Programme and champion the needs of LGBTQ+ children.
Cabinet Member for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Councillor Pam Thomas said “We’ve launched at the end of LGBTQ+ history month to remind everyone of the discrimination and inequalities LGBTQ+ people faced under Section 28 legislation. Every February, as part of a month-long celebration, the UK marks the abolition of the laws that prohibited the “promotion of homosexuality” by local authorities and schools.
“The Liverpool City Council Plan for 2022-2025 sets out the city’s commitment to equality and inclusion. Through this survey and a series of listening sessions recommended to us by the Navajo Merseyside Charter Mark, the Council will be supported in achieving these aims.”
Director of Public Health for Liverpool, Professor Matthew Ashton said “Research has shown that LGBTQ+ communities have a greater risk of poor mental and physical health and that there is a lack of adequate knowledge and support for them within the healthcare system.
“Through this health needs assessment, we will better understand how well we engage and provide for this population and gain crucial insight into their experiences of services and the barriers they face in accessing good health care.”
Sahir House CEO, Ant Hopkinson said “The focus here is to ensure that nobody within our LGBTQ+ community faces any discrimination or stigma when accessing services and that we place equity and reducing inequalities at the heart of the partnership work on this agenda.
“The more people who come forward to complete our survey, the more chance we have of ensuring fully inclusive offers across the city.
“Sahir House will also assist with the next phase of detailed engagement, which will incorporate focus groups and interviews with our LGBTQ+ community to authentically engage and understand how we can remove some of the barriers they face”.
All of the information gathered will be used to make recommendations for the Council, partners and stakeholders in order to improve services across the city.
The survey is open until Monday 3 April 2023 and LGBTQ+ people aged 16 and over are encouraged to take part here: liverpool.gov.uk/LGBTQneeds