Page last updated: 27 August, 2021, 7:14pm
New Good Practice Guide to Sexual Orientation and Trans Status Monitoring Launched by LGBT Foundation and NHS England
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the extent to which deep-rooted health inequalities can lead to significant and even deadly consequences in this country. There has never been a more urgent time for a renewed effort to identify and tackle health inequalities.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) communities experience a broad range of health inequalities throughout their lives, including substantially higher instances of mental health issues and drug/alcohol dependency, lower rates of physical activity and higher rates of smoking. LGBT communities also experience higher rates of homelessness, domestic abuse and sexual violence which can lead to significantly worse health outcomes. Health inequalities arise at different stages of people’s lives, and LGBT people often experience specific further discrimination and marginalisation when accessing services to address these health inequalities.
If We’re Not Counted, We Don’t Count is a new good practice guide launched by LGBT Foundation and NHS England to support health and care services to implement effective sexual orientation and trans status monitoring. The guide contains updated guidance, tips and case studies to help embed routine monitoring. The new guide explains how monitoring is not a stand-alone step, it is only useful if the findings are used to better support LGBT patients and to underpin strategies to address LGBT health inequalities. It also shows how the information collected can be used to improve services for LGBT people.
Dr Paul Martin OBE, Chief Executive of LGBT Foundation, said:
“LGBT people face a broad range of health inequalities which prevent many from living long, happy and healthy lives. Effective sexual orientation and trans status monitoring is essential in tackling health inequalities, and we hope that this new guide helps services to address the specific needs of their LGBT patients and services users.
We still have a long way to go when it comes to embedding routine sexual orientation and trans status monitoring across the health and social care sector. To put it simply, if we’re not counted, we don’t count!”
A 2017 primary care patient experience survey conducted by LGBT Foundation found that LGBT people who shared their sexual orientation with their GP were 21.4% more likely to feel their GP met their health needs than those who did not. Trans people who shared their trans status with their GP were 62.1% more likely to feel their GP met their health needs than those who did not.
All health and social care services should be taking proactive steps to improve care, provide equitable access to services and be working to reduce LGBT health inequalities. Monitoring sexual orientation and trans status is essential for services to understand the specific needs of their LGBT patients/service users and recognise the ways in which services need to be improved.
For further information and advice on sexual orientation and trans status monitoring, or issues around LGBT health and health inequalities, contact email@example.com.
You can download a copy of If We’re Not Counted, We Don’t Count here – www.lgbt.foundation/monitoring.