Pride in Practice – new patient standard for excellence in lesbian, gay and bisexual healthcare

Publish Date: 16/01/2012

The Lesbian & Gay Foundation (The LGF) and NHS North West, are building on the success of their GP’s Surgeries project, with the launch of Pride in Practice – a new patient standard for excellence in lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) healthcare – on February 14th.

The launch event takes place at The Lesbian & Gay Foundation’s Community Resource Centre, Manchester and will feature a talk from the Chairwoman of the Royal College of GP’s Dr Clare Gerada.

The project has also received the backing of TV's Dr Christian Jessen: "I think Pride in Practice is a great initiative...GPs are going to have to be more accommodating to all of their patients needs. It’s important to remember that patients have a choice about which GP practice they use especially as these days they have to run more like a business, it is in the interests of practices to show that they are welcoming to lesbian, gay and bisexual patients... I fully approve of this.”

Read www.lgf.org.uk's full interview with Dr Christian here http://bit.ly/zeOQTn

Pride in Practice will act as a benchmarking tool and will encourage GPs across the UK to make sure that their lesbian, gay and bisexual patients are treated fairly, and that their services are inclusive of LGB people and their needs.

The surgeries that sign up to the standard will be expected to create a welcoming environment – including using inclusive language and imagery, monitor sexual orientation, consult with LGB patients, get involved with health promotion and outreach, and train staff on specific LGB issues.

The standard encourages GPs to aim for excellence in LGB service delivery, and once a surgery demonstrates that it is an accessible and supportive service they will be awarded a bronze, silver or gold certificate of recognition.

What do GPs and their surgery get?

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.

Pride in Practice helps practices meet their legal duties under the Equality Act.

Shahnaz Ali is associate director for Equality, Inclusion and Human Rights at NHS North West, and commissioned LGF to carry out this project. She says: “Despite the huge changes going on in the NHS, GPs will remain the first point of contact for the vast majority of people who need health care – that’s why a project like this is so important.

Lesbian, gay and bisexual people have a right to feel safe and welcome in the NHS and have equality of access to services. There are some shining examples of good practice in surgeries already  - which this project will help to build on”.

Two of these shining examples include Ancoats Urban Village Medical Practice and The Docs who are already piloting Pride in Practice in their surgeries.

Jacquie Heywood, Practice Manager at Ancoats Urban Village Medical Practice said: “We are proud to be one of the pilot surgeries for Pride in Practice, being involved in this project ensures that our services are welcoming to lesbian, gay and bisexual people.”

GP Partners Dr Barbara Allan, Dr Matt Joslin and Practice Manager Margaret Everitt  from The Docs said: “Being one of the pilot surgeries highlights our commitment to providing inclusive and accessible services, and our whole team supports this initiative.”

Paul Martin OBE Chief Executive of The Lesbian & Gay Foundation said: “Taking this work forward is one of our main priorities for 2012. The success of the GP’s Surgeries project highlighted the impact that accessing a welcoming space can have in terms of quality of care for LGB people. Pride in Practice aims to continue this work in encouraging GP’s surgeries to be more aware of and more accountable for achieving excellence in LGB healthcare.”

To register for the Pride in Practice launch please visit http://www.lgf.org.uk/prideinpractice, or for more information on the project please email  pip@lgf.org.uk

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