Sexual Orientation Monitoring Information Standard

Working closely with key stakeholders including NHS Digital, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) Foundation led the work to develop a Sexual Orientation Monitoring Information Standard on behalf of NHS England. The SOM information standard provides a consistent mechanism for recording the sexual orientation of all patients/service users aged 16 years across all health services in England. It will also cover local authorities with responsibilities for adult social care in all service areas where it may be relevant to record this data using a standardised format.

This standard provides the categories for recording sexual orientation but does not mandate a collection.

The SOM has been based on research conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), and on current practice by those organisations which monitor sexual orientation.

This is a significant milestone in promoting Lesbian Gay Bisexual equality in England.  Recording sexual orientation will allow policy makers, commissioners and providers to better identify health risks and will help support targeted preventative and early intervention work to address the health inequalities for people who are Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual.

The Information Standard was accepted by the Standardisation Committee for Care Information on 22 February 2017, and approved by the Data Coordination Group on 18 May 2017 and 14 September 2017. It was published on 5 October 2017.

The ‘Information Standards Notice’ (ISN) and other official information relating to the Standard can be found on the Information Standard page

LGBT Foundation has developed a “Good practice guide to monitoring sexual orientation