The UK government has announced the appointment of the first National Advisor on LGBTI Health.
Dr Michael Brady, Medical Director of the Terrence Higgins Trust and a sexual health and HIV consultant at King’s College Hospital, will take up the role on 1 April.
He will oversee health services for LGBT patients on the National Health Service (NHS) and advise on how to tackle inequality in the healthcare system.
The government also announced the names of experts and LGBTI rights workers who will make up the new LGBT Advisory Panel as part of its LGBT Action Plan.
The 12-person panel will advise the government on all LGBTI matters in the UK, including on issues such as ‘conversion therapy, improving access and tackling inequality in healthcare’.
‘I want to ensure that every LGBT person is treated with dignity and respect’
Dr Brady’s appointment comes at a time when the NHS is preparing to ask all adult patients to declare their sexual orientation.
‘I’m delighted to be chosen to advise government and the NHS on the work that needs to be done to improve the health and well-being of LGBT communities,’ Dr. Brady said.
‘I want to ensure that every LGBT person is treated with dignity and respect and receives the right information, treatment, and care.
‘I want all healthcare workers to understand the needs of LGBT individuals and for everyone to feel comfortable and confident that they will be treated fairly when they access healthcare.’
The government is looking for ways to improve healthcare access to LGBTI people.
In 2018, over 16 percent of LGBTI patients who accessed or tried to access the NHS reported a negative experience because of their sexual orientation.
Dr Brady has also advised that the UK roll-out of a highly effective HIV prevention pill.
He said that making the daily pill pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) free on the NHS could save the healthcare provider several hundred thousand pounds, Reuters reports.
The UK government’s LGBT Action Plan
The appointment of the LGBTI health advisor and LGBT Advisory Panel is part of the UK government’s LGBT Action Plan.
The initiative is also working on ways to tackle homophobic bullying at schools.
Women and Equalities minister Penny Mordaunt praised the next step in the government’s initiative.
‘Dr. Brady and the experts on our new Panel will give LGBT people and those working on their behalf a direct route to speak to government and shape policy on decisions that affect their daily lives,’ Mordaunt said.
‘Everyone should be able to love who they wish to and live their life free from fear and discrimination. That’s why we are working at pace with organizations and across government to make sure our Action Plan can bring about real, lasting change for LGBT people in the UK.’
12-person LGBT Advisory Panel
The members who will make up the government’s new LGBT Advisory Panel are:
- Catherine Meads, Professor of Health at Anglia Ruskin University, specializing in hate crime
- S. Chelvan, a specialist in international human rights and LGBT asylum cases
- Ellen Murray, Executive Director of Transgender Northern Ireland
- James Morton, Manager at the Scottish Trans Alliance and member of the Parliamentary Forum on Gender Identity
- Jayne Ozanne, Director of the Ozanne Foundation and member of the Church of England’s General Synod
- Lewis Turner, Chief Executive of Lancashire LGBT with experience working on hate crime at a local government level
- Marcel Varney, Assistant Director of Children’s Services at Barnardo’s with experience working on adoption policy
- Paul Dillane, Executive Director of Kaleidoscope Trust
- Paul Martin, Chief Executive of LGBT Foundation
- Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall
- Paul Roberts, Chief Executive of Consortium
- Stevie-Jade Hardy, Associate Professor of Criminology and an expert on equalities and hate crime at the University of Leicester