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NHS launches new gay doctors initiative

New ratings service aims to make sure lesbian, gay and bisexual people are confident in their local doctor

NHS launches new gay doctors initiative

Pride in Practise, a new tool which identifies gay, lesbian and bisexual friendly doctors surgeries, will ensure that patients have access to the services they need.

The tool will be launched on 14 February in North West England by the National Health Service (NHS).

General practitioners surgeries that sign up to Pride in Practise will be assessed on their staff awareness, patient environment, intake process, patient consultation and health promotion. Once they have completed the assessment they will be awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze to recognise their level of achievement.

GP project manager Dennis Baldwin of The Lesbian and Gay Foundation told Gay Star News: 'It's incredibly important that lesbian, gay and bisexual people are able to be open and honest about their sexual orientation straight off the bat when being consulted by their GP.

'This way they will be more comfortable talking about their symptoms, problems will be identified earlier and the correct treatment can be given.'

While the NHS are obliged to be fully accessible to lesbian, gay and bisexual people, many are avoiding visiting their local doctor due to fear of discrimination.

Research has shown that four out of five LGB people don't feel safe enough to tell their sexual orientation to healthcare professionals within mental health clinics and two-thirds have let workers assume they are heterosexual.

Meanwhile, 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.

For further information you can email Dennis Baldwin.

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