Pub Quiz launches our Blokes Views Report
Over the past few months Healthwatch BwD has visited pubs and clubs, speaking to 187 men about their health and wellbeing.
Healthwatch BwD visited 8 pubs over the last few months to speak about the health and social care concerns men had locally. The engagement wanted to target seldom heard men who were not engaging with Healthwatch or other health and social care services through their usual means, and instead going to places where they already attended.
Through the use of a pub quiz and informal interviews, Healthwatch staff and volunteers visited 8 pubs and social clubs to gather people’s feedback of local services and highlight any issues there may be. Healthwatch were also able to provide their signposting service, to enable people to find and access support and service which they were either unaware of or unable to access.
The key areas Healthwatch BwD wanted men to speak about were:
- Access to services
- Confidence in accessing services
- Issues affecting men
- Challenges in the health services
- How to improve local services
- Mental health stigma
- Experience of mental health
- Loneliness and isolation
- Staying happy and healthy
The final report was launched at 8pm at Ewood Working Men’s Club in Blackburn, which is situated opposite Blackburn Rovers Ground. The launch saw public health professionals, local councillors, mental health charities, housing associations, and men involved in the research and drinking in the club to have some food and discuss findings from the report.
To officially launch the report, Healthwatch BwD invited everyone in the pub to enter a free pub quiz, which had 40 questions around general knowledge, sport, and key findings from the report. This method was chosen as a fun way of engaging people who may not have otherwise read the report or knew the role of Healthwatch BwD, and brought attention to some of the findings.
Key findings in the report found that:
- 16.9% of men weren’t confident in accessing services. The image (e.g. White Jacket) associated with both services & health professionals can be off putting for some men. This impacted on how involved they were with their care/treatment. Those who wanted to be involved often weren’t and they felt decisions were made without them.
- 21.3% of men thought making an appointment with a GP was a challenge. This frustration could impact men accessing services therefore having a negative impact on their health & wellbeing.
- 31% of the men either didn’t know or were unsure where to go to find information about local Health & Social Care Services. When information & services were found participants felt it was often unsuitable and/or not specific to men. The way in which men & women are communicated with was highlighted, which sometimes needs to be different, as it does within the male demographic.(e.g. men in pubs might not read the same information as men in gyms).
- 21.5% of men were Lonely and/or Isolated all or most of the time. This was significantly higher in those who were single, widowed or divorced. It was also evident that being in an environment full of people didn’t mean men weren’t lonely or isolated; often quite the opposite. Those who were active in the community and attended regular activity were less likely to be lonely & isolated and had a more positive outlook.
- 72.5% of men spoke about how they thought there was a stigma attached to mental health in men. This seemed to have a significant impact on their health, wellbeing & attitude. The fear of not being masculine enough was evident in many of the men we spoke to and this impacted on them accessing services and/or support.
The full report has been sent to all health and social care providers, with 8 recommendations made by Healthwatch of how services can improve and meet the needs of the local population.
Mark Rasburn, Chief Executive of Healthwatch BwD, said “Our aim is to enable all residents to be able to have a say in local services. We know not everyone is able or willing to come to our other meetings, so it’s vital we go out and speak to them. We found most men wanted to speak with us, and the fact that 187 men did highlights the benefit of our approach. We will be using the findings to challenge services and continue to improve services for public”.
Healthwatch will continue to follow up the report and continue to ensure all local residents are able to have their voice listened to and help shape their local services. The full report can be found on the Healthwatch BwD website, or through contacting them directly.