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Children and Young People’s Experience of their local GP practice

The purpose of the engagement was to involve young people aged between 12-25 years old to understand their experience of their local GP practice. The engagement was co-delivered by Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Barnardo’s Positive Identities Service (BPI) and Voluntary Action Calderdale (VAC).

By gathering views, young people told us what else we need to do to ensure that the CCG can provide information to GP practices to ensure that young people are supported in the right way.

This video, made by young people, shows bad and good examples of a person’s experience at their GP surgery.

The engagement also specifically focused on the support that LGBTQ young people receive when visiting their local GP practice to identify any service improvements required.

People told us:

The CCG received a total of 225 responses to the survey and the key findings from the engagement are listed below:

  • 62.9% responded that they would ‘Discuss it with a family member’, 37.1% ‘Ring the GP practice’ or 31.2% ‘Google it’ if they were worried about their health.
  • 32.3% visited the GP practice ‘In the last month’ and 30.9% ‘In the last 6 months’. 
  • 74.8% of parent/carers booked the GP appointment.  
  • 87.3% responded that ‘Telephone’ was the preferred method used to book appointments. 
  • 75.9% attend the GP practice with their ‘Parent/carer’ and 21.8% ‘go on their own’. 
  • 68.3% stated they have never been offered an appointment at the GP practice without a family member.
  • In terms of access to the GP practice, the main areas of concern were difficulty in getting appointments, access due to mobility and anxiety around going alone, taking in information and speaking to staff.
  • For the last appointment, 65.1% ‘Went to see a GP’, 17.5% ‘Saw nurse/nurse practitioner’ and 10.8% stated they ‘Saw someone but didn’t know what their role was’.
  • 45% rated their overall experience as ‘Good’ (45%) and 28.4% as ‘Ok’.
  • 54.6% sated it was important for the Doctor to use their birth name.

The four main areas that could make people feel more supported are:

  1. Communication  – To use more child friendly language and inform of all choices. 
  2. Appointments  – To have a more flexible, easy to use booking system for appointments with quicker access and shorter waits to be seen. 
  3. Gender Support  – For practice to have more gender awareness of current issues and appropriate support, use pronouns, plus demonstrate inclusiveness in waiting area. 
  4. Service – To increase support for mental health and autism.  Have continuity of care and trust.   Be more supportive and treat equally.  To have increased funding for more services.
  • 80% said ‘yes’, they understood the language the doctor or other health professional used, with 3% who said ‘no’.
  • A number of responses stated sometimes, or that they talked to mum, and others stated they had difficulty understanding the different languages and use of medical terminology.
  • Other comments included having a lack of information on the illness/it was complicated/not clear on what condition was.
  • 67.2% felt that the Doctor or health professional understood their needs and 22.6% stated they were ‘Not sure’.
  • 63.6% felt they could ask the Doctor or other health professionals questions and 19.3% stated ‘Not Sure’. 
  • 24.5% were worried that the Doctor or other health professional would discuss their personal issues with the family/carer and 60.1% did not think this was the case.

The five main areas for improvement were around:

  1. Appointments
  2. Communication
  3.  Service
  4. Waiting Times
  5. Gender

A number of characteristics were expected from the Doctor or other health professional:

  • 88.8% ‘Non-judgemental’, 86. 6%‘Respect’ , 86.1% ‘Good at explaining and 85% ‘Confidentiality’, ‘Good Listener’ and ‘Understanding’.
  • The least picked option at 73.3% was a ‘Good knowledge of services’   
  • The top three responses identified their usual Doctor (GP practice) was the ‘Hebden Bridge Group Practice (8.7%), ‘Todmorden Group practice’ (7.3%) and ‘They didn’t want to say’
  • 34.6% identified as LGBTQ+, 59.5% did not and 5.9% were ‘Not sure’. 
  • 34.3% said ‘I haven’t needed to yet’ when asked if they felt comfortable discussing your gender/sexuality with your Doctor or other health professional.  29.1% said ‘Only if it’s 23.9% said ‘Yes’ and 12.7% said ‘No’. 
  • When asked about the use of preferred pronouns, 57.3% said ‘Doesn’t apply to me’, 21.4% said ‘Yes, but I did not tell them/they did not ask’ and 11.5% said ‘No, they do not know my preferred pronoun’. 
  • 66.4% said ‘Not sure’ that the GP practice has a good understanding of LGBTQ+ needs and 18% said ‘Yes’ and 10.9% said ‘Some but not all’.
  • 45.2% said ‘Not sure’ that the Doctor has a good understanding of your gender/and or sexual identity, 39.7% said ‘Yes’ and 15.1% said ‘No’.
  • 56.6% said ‘Not sure’ that the Doctors surgery and staff are welcoming to LGBTQ people, with 40.2% said ‘Yes’ and 8.2% said ‘No’.
  • 30.1% said it was very important to have gender neutral toilets and 28.5% said it was not very important.
  • 61.7% said ‘I haven’t asked them’ in relation to staff at the Doctors being aware of other local services to provide support, 31.7% said ‘Yes’ and 6.7% said ‘No’.
  • 24.4% answered ‘Yes’ to being referred to a different service, which were explained as child and adolescent mental health services, Tavistock,iIdentity and podiatry.

What we are doing?

The report of findings will be shared with the Primary Care Equality Steering Group and Patient and Public Engagement Steering Group.

The final engagement report will be made publically available and feedback provided to those respondents who have requested it.

The CCG will provide the report of findings to GP practices to ensure that young people and those identifying as LGBTQ are supported in the right way. The information will be used to identify any service improvements and access to GP practices by individual practices.