Pride in Practice
Pride in Practice is a benchmarking tool that identifies GP surgeries that are fully committed to assuring that their lesbian, gay and bisexual patients are treated fairly and able to discuss their issues openly with their GP or healthcare provider.
Pride in Practice draws on the outcomes listed under the NHS North West ‘Equality Performance Improvement Toolkit’ to help surgeries meet their obligations under the equalities legislation.
The process involves surgeries undergoing self assessment which are then verified by the LGF, which will help to identify precisely the kind of gaps which can then be addressed to ensure that their surgery is fully accessible to their LGB patients and their needs.
Pride in Practice would demonstrate the commitment from the surgery to:
- recognise and respect our lesbian, gay and bisexual client population
- understand the issues facing our lesbian, gay and bisexual client groups
- respond to the specific health needs of our lesbian, gay and bisexual client groups
- provide an accessible and appropriate service and offer referrals where appropriate and desired.
The surgeries that sign up to Pride in Practice will be assessed around the criteria of:
- Creating a welcoming environment
- The patient intake process
- The GP – patient consultation
- Staff awareness and training
- Health promotion
The surgeries are rated on the above criteria and where needed, action plans to address any area of improvement will be developed in consultation with the LGF and any other appropriate partners.
Once the assessment is completed and the surgery demonstrates that it is an accessible and supportive service, they will be awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze to recognise their level of achievement against the Pride in Practice criteria to be displayed in the surgery.
To support obtaining the Pride in Practice Charter Mark, surgeries will be provided with an information pack.
The pack includes guidance on Sexual Orientation Monitoring, a range of LGB-affirmative resources for display in surgeries, a ‘How To’ guide to making surgeries accessible environments, and a series of factsheets detailing the health inequalities of LGB people on issues such as Mental Health, Sexual Health, Cervical Screening, Drug & Alcohol dependency.
Along with this pack surgeries will also get direct access to the LGF specialist staff team that will provide them with support and guidance on all areas of LGB patient care.
For more information contact:
Kathy McGuirk, GP Project Manager, The Lesbian & Gay Foundation
Call: 0845 3 30 30 30 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pride in Practice will ensure that LGB people have increased access to the appropriate services they need. It will also address possible shortfalls in GP surgeries, and also meet the needs of the LGB people we jointly serve, whatever their health issues or concerns.
Further to this, displaying the Pride in Practice plaque will demonstrate that your surgery is LGB affirmative. It acts as a tool to assure your patients that they will be treated fairly and can discuss their issues openly with their GP or health care provider. It also indicates that a GP is aware of where to refer people to if they request specific LGB provision.
This means that LGB people will be more likely to provide health care professionals with accurate information earlier on. As a result, they will be able to address health problems and unhealthy lifestyles without fear that divulging certain information, which could be needed by the health professional (such as sexual history, or specific issues relating to mental health, for example), will result in prejudice or discriminatory treatment.
There is a registration fee of £100 and an annual membership of £50.
LGB people are less likely to access mainstream health services because of actual or perceived discrimination and prejudices, often feeling a need to hide their sexual orientation.
There is a growing body of research indicating that Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual (LGB) people face a wide range of issues in their lives and are more likely than their heterosexual peers to suffer from poor mental health, poor sexual health, problems with substance misuse, social isolation, discrimination and hate crime.
It is therefore essential that the needs of LGB people are considered in helping to overcome the health inequalities faced by the North West population, and that current resources are spent effectively.
Research has found that:
- 1 in 10 LGBT individuals have avoided using public services for fear of homophobia (Out House, I Count, 2004).
- Half of lesbian and bisexual women have had negative experiences with healthcare professionals in the last year, and half are not out to their GP. Of those who came out, only 3 in 10 said that healthcare workers did not make inappropriate comments when they came out (Stonewall, Prescription for Change, 2008).
- 1 in 5 health care professionals admit to being homophobic (HMSO, Equalities Review: Sexual Orientation Research Review, 2007).
- 4 in 5 LGB people have reservations about feeling safe enough to disclose their sexuality within mainstream mental health services and 2 in 3 LGB people have denied their sexual orientation or let workers assume that they were heterosexual (Mind, Without Prejudice, 1997).
- 20% of therapists reported having assisted at least one patient to reduce or change his or her homosexual or lesbian feelings (King et al., The Response of Mental Health Professionals, 2009).
These factors deter people from accessing the support they require.
Furthermore, not feeling able to ‘be yourself’ or disclose information about your sexual orientation can affect people’s ability to access health care that is relevant and appropriate to their needs, and can have a detrimental effect on the quality of care received.
Also under current legislation, all NHS surgeries have an obligation to be fully accessible to LGB people. Equality legislation means that GPs must treat LGB people equally, and with dignity and respect.
One way of providing an affirmative and welcoming environment, and to visibly demonstrate this commitment to LGB people’s needs, is by signing up to Pride in Practice.
What is the Royal College of General Practitioners
The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 45,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.