The gypsy traveller community in Lincolnshire told Healthwatch about their experiences accessing local health services including problems accessing support for their mental health, and trouble finding information on what health checks they should be having.
Healthwatch held an event attended by people responsible for commissioning and running health and social care services, as well as other local stakeholders, members of the public and a group of gypsy travellers.
This event allowed everyone to find out more about the issues this community was facing and what could make their experience better, including better information about the services available and the importance of health check-ups.
Healthwatch helped bring about several changes, including mental health first aid awareness training, sexual health awareness training and the facilitation of links between the Lincolnshire Traveller Initiative Well Woman Groups and local services specialising in sexual health team, immunisation and dentistry.
Several women from the gypsy traveller community have also been shown by professionals how to support their peers across Lincolnshire, meaning more women and their families from the traveller community will be able to get the care they need when they need it.
Because of this work, many women received their first ever cervical and breast screening and are more aware of where they can go for support.
In addition, a health directory is being developed by the Healthwatch that will be going into every home on every traveller site in Lincolnshire, ensuring that as many people from the traveller community as possible are aware of the services available to them.