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Access to healthcare

dr lucy

Dr Lucy Potter posted this on the18/04/2019

Street sex workers experience some of the worst physical and mental health in our society. But are healthcare services accessible to street sex workers and meeting their needs? My name is Lucy – I do a drop-in clinic here at One25 and I have a research fellowship at the University of Bristol.

My clinic is always full. And although I do my best to support the health needs of women who come to the clinic, I am always aware of how much more there is to be done. This drop-in clinic is so important but it is not enough. I am using my research fellowship to investigate how we can do this better.

Street sex workers have a right to health. They have experienced complex trauma and multiple disadvantage; they have a much greater unmet health need than your ‘average’ patient. Yet our healthcare services are not designed to support this complexity. Sadly, most healthcare services seem inaccessible to street sex workers. We can and must do better than this.

I wonder about other areas… What healthcare is accessible to street sex workers there? Do they do things differently? What works? What doesn’t work? Does it meet their needs?

The people who can help answer these questions are people like the caseworkers at One25 who know the women in Bristol well. And I’ve developed a national survey to ask about these issues in other parts of the country area. If you work with street sex workers anywhere in the UK I’m really interested to hear your views.

Thank you.

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