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UK Government admits it’s failing LGBTI people on healthcare

Written by gaytourism

The NHS is failing the UK’s LGBTI community and the government has now launched an enquiry to find out why.

The Women and Equalities Committee will conduct the enquiry. It will look at provision of healthcare, discrimination issues, and how to improve access to health and social care.

A recent Government survey of 108,000 LGBTI people found that health outcomes are worse for them than the general population.

Many reported difficulties accessing healthcare services and some had experienced inappropriate questioning and curiosity from healthcare staff.

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At least 16% of survey respondents had a negative experience of accessing public health services because of their sexual orientation, and 38% because of their gender identity.

72% of LGBTI people who had accessed or tried to access mental health services reported that it had not been easy. 51% said they had to wait too long, 27% were worried, anxious or embarrassed about going, and 16% said their GP was not supportive.

21% of asexual people have had a negative experience of healthcare in the past year, as have 40% of trans people, with over a third saying that accessing sexual health services is ‘not easy’.

Nearly half of bisexual people said they have never been out to anyone in a care setting, and 67% have never disclosed their sexuality to a healthcare professional.

Nearly a quarter (23%) said that being out in a care setting has had a negative effect on their care.

Maria Miller, who chairs the committee, said the healthcare needs of LGBTI people were clearly not being met effectively.

‘…[S]ome report that they still face discrimination in health and social care, and there are inequalities in outcomes between LGBTI groups and the wider population’, she said.

She welcomed the Government’s recently announced action plan and its commitment to improving how the NHS addresses LGBTI needs.

‘This is therefore a crucial time for us to look at how services can best be provided and improved for LGBTI patients.

‘We want to hear from organisations, individuals, researchers and service providers about what can be done to make health and social services more effective for LGBTI people.’

Committee will conduct wide-ranging enquiry

As part of its enquiry, the Committee will seek to understand and address LGBTI health inequalities. It will look at the areas of health where LGBTI people experience worse outcomes than the general population.

The Committee also hopes to discover how to better meet the needs of LGBTI people in health and social care. It will examine what evidence shows that LGBTI people have particular needs as health and social care users.

Additionally, it will examine how effectively health and social care providers take into account the needs of LGBTI people.

The Committee will also consider the ageing population. It will look at the particular challenges older LGBTI people face in accessing social care, housing and end-of-life care.

The Committee will also investigate discrimination against LGBTI people when they access health and social care.

Underpinning all of this will be an assessment of how the new National Adviser for improving LGBTI healthcare should function.

The Committee has invited written evidence from organisations and individuals. The deadline for comments is 5 October 2018.

Guidance for giving evidence is available here.

See also

LGBTI’s in the US less likely to have jobs or health insurance – study

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