7 March: We held a focus group at the Reading Community Learning Centre to hear positive and negative feedback about GPs, hospitals and social care. The centre helps a diverse group of people and we thank its tutors for helping to translate the views of non-English speakers. Our focus group group report will be published soon.
12 March: We joined a webinar (an online discussion) on ‘What LGBT Women Want’, run by the LGBT Foundation. We heard that health professionals sometimes make wrong assumptions, which can lead to lack of contraception advice or low cervical cancer screening rates. Our own survey seeking views of Reading people identifying as LGBT+ about their experiences of local services runs until early April.
13 March: We collected views from people with learning disabilities about their GP care, at a group run by the charity Talkback. Our focus group findings will be published in the coming weeks.
16 March: Reading councillors and local NHS leaders praised our report revealing what local people know about tuberculosis (TB), when we presented findings to the Reading Health and Wellbeing Board. Our research shows that stigma and lack of knowledge might prevent people from seeking TB screening or treatment and we suggested that more outreach work be done with at-risk sections fo the community.
15 March: We attended a Reading Advice Network (RAN) forum meeting, focusing on homelessness. We heard concerns about how homeless people are finding it hard to access universal credit due to not having a permanent address or bank account. RAN is made up of local charities.
28 March: We went to a local event on Health Inequalities to hear discussions about how to meet the needs of Afro-Caribbean and other BME communities, who might find it hard to access care they need due to stigma or service barriers, leading to poorer health. We also heard of initiatives such as an upcoming dementia workshop to be held by the Jamaican Society.