Getting LGB Health Issues on The Agenda

Publish Date: 07/08/2012

 

For the first time key healthcare figures come together to discuss lesbian, gay & bisexual 
health issues. The  Royal College of General Practitioners, The British Medical Association and The General Medical Council come together for the first time to address LGB patient inequalities.
 
The Lesbian & Gay Foundation hosted a consultation event on 1 August 2012 with GPs and their peak representative bodies to help address the health inequalities faced by lesbian, gay and bisexual patients.
 
For the first time ever representatives came together from the Royal College of General Practitioners, The British Medical Association, The General Medical Council, NHS Commissioning Board Authority, NHS Greater Manchester Cluster Board, The Gay and Lesbian Association of Doctors and Dentists, Manchester Central, North and South commissioning boards
along and surgeries in Manchester.
 
Dennis Baldwin, GP Project Manger at the LGF commented “We cannot underestimate the level of influence of the people in the room, it is a momentous day for LGB primary care, by bringing these organisations together today has seen LGB health inequalities have been put firmly onto the agenda.”
 
The group were presented with the LGF's research findings into lesbian, gay & bisexual patient’s experiences of their GP as part of the Pride in Practice project. Pride in Practice is a benchmarking tool to support excellence in lesbian, gay and bisexual healthcare, helping GP’s to ensure that their LGB patients are treated fairly and are able to discuss their issues openly with their GP or healthcare provider.
 
The research obtained details of LGB Patient Experiences of their GP through an online survey of 550 LGB respondents from across the United Kingdom and a focus group of LGB community members.
 
At the event the group discussed how to support LGB patients to be open about their sexual orientation, referring through to specialist LGB support services, sexual orientation monitoring, supporting surgeries in their LGB patient services and the need for training and development
for all surgery staff.
 
Dr Tim Crocker-Buque from the British Medical Association commented “All LGB people will at some point or other suffered a bad reaction or a negative response to being open about their sexuality. Going to the GP is already a stressful experience, as you are worrying about something related to your health. If you're LGB then you also have the additional anxiety caused by the potential reaction a GP may have to your sexuality. What would happen if your GP reacts negatively? Simply having a poster in the waiting room immediately relieves this additional level of anxiety, allowing an LGB patient to focus on their health needs.”
 
The ‘Taking Pride in Practice: Lesbian gay and bisexual patient experiences of their GP’ research report is being released in the summer 2012.
 
The bringing together of these peak primary care bodies and GPs has paved the way for a future alliance in primary care to ensure that the health needs of LGB patients are acknowledge and that services are accessible and supportive of their needs.
 
For more information on Pride in Practice visit www.lgf.org.uk/prideinpractice