LGBTQ+ people share their experiences of health and social care services

Our project supported LGBTQ+ people in Brighton and Hove to share their experiences of health and social care services.
LGBTQ+ flag

Healthwatch and Brighton and Hove Switchboard LGBT worked in partnership to collect LGBTQ+ patients’ experiences of using health and social care services since July 2020.

We also asked them how existing feedback systems could be improved to encourage them to share their experiences.

We delivered this project on behalf of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) who wanted to hear more from the LGBTQ+ community.

Our surveys, interviews and focus groups took place between February and April.

  • a total of 120 people completed our two surveys, including 59 young younger people aged 16-25.
  • 24 people shared their own experiences of health and social services, which we shared with the CQC.
  • 15 people shared their views through 3 focus groups.
  • We interviewed 4 leads of local LGBTQ+ groups.
  • We conducted one-to one interviews with 9 local people to gather more of their views.

Our engagement achieved good levels of diversity and representation amongst the local LGBTQ+ community (see page 21 of our report).


We made a number of important findings.Some of these are:

  • Provide support for people when reliving traumatic experiences. Offer advocacy services
  • Create a dedicated CQC public-friendly feedback website which explains impacts & outcomes (“You Said. We Did”)
  • Gather collective LGBTQ+ concerns (not just individual) via local organisations on a regular basis
  • Offer simpler and quicker ways to feedback
  • Offer LGBTQ+ CQC staff for patients to talk to
  • Advise people at the point they receive care of feedback options (leaflets, QR codes, a facility on NHS App “How was your care today?”)
  • CQC should become an LGBTQ+ ally. They could try to achieve Stonewall Top 100 employer for LGBTQ+ people and accept an offer of training from local LGBTQ+ groups
  • Fund local LGBTQ+ groups to deliver engagement activities on the CQC’s behalf and reward participants
  • Enable feedback to be shared via LGBTQ+ groups
  • Ensure language in forms is inclusive e.g. ask for preferred pronouns
  • Ensure feedback forms open up a conversation with patients.

You can read more detail in our report.

You can also read the results from the focus groups and interviews that Switchboard conducted in their separate report, which is available at the end of this page.


We have developed 17 recommendations for the CQC, built around 4 areas of focus. They are:

(1) closer partnership working with local LGBTQ+ groups

2) a focus on building trust with the LGBTQ+ community

(3) a more flexible approach to collating feedback and

(4) better publicity of feedback systems.

Our full list of 17 recommendations can be read on pages 5 and 10 of our report.

What next?

We shared our report with the CQC in May. They are currently considering our findings and recommendations. We will continue to work with them to explore how our work - and your views - can help to improve their feedback systems, and also how they can use these to become a more inclusive organisation and build greater trust with the LGBTQ+ community.

Healthwatch and Switchboard will continue to work together to take forward our findings.

We will update this page shortly.


Main report
Swtchboard report
Appendices to the main report

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