Dr Brady was appointed as the National Advisor for LGBT Health at NHS England in April 2019. In this new role Dr Brady works across NHS England and NHS Improvement, with the Government Equalities Office and a wide range of stakeholders, partner organisations and the LGBT community to address health inequalities for LGBT individuals and improve experience in the NHS. Michael is also an HIV and Sexual Health consultant at Kings College Hospital in London and the Medical Director of the Terrence Higgins Trust.
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The evidence that LGBT people have disproportionately worse health outcomes and experiences of healthcare is both compelling and consistent. With almost every measure we look at LGBT communities fare worse than others. This is unacceptable, and we need to increase our efforts to address these health inequalities.
National LGBT survey and action plan
The National Adviser for LGBT Health will focus on reducing the heath inequalities that LGBT people face, and advise on ways to improve the care LGBT people receive when accessing the NHS and public health services. They will work across the NHS to ensure that the needs of LGBT people are considered throughout the health system.
The National Adviser will work to improve healthcare professionals’ awareness of LGBT issues so they can provide better patient care. The National Adviser will work with relevant statutory organisations and professional associations to embed LGBT issues into physical and mental health services.
The 2017 National LGBT survey, with over 108,000 responses, described a situation where LGBT communities face discrimination, felt their specific needs were not being met, had poorer experience and had major concerns about accessing healthcare that should be a right for all.
- at least 16% of survey respondents who accessed or tried to access public health services had a negative experience because of their sexual orientation, and at least 38% had a negative experience because of their gender identity.
- 51% of survey respondents who accessed or tried to access mental health services said they had to wait too long, 27% were worried, anxious or embarrassed about going and 16% said their GP was not supportive.
- 80% of trans respondents who accessed or tried to access gender identity clinics said it was not easy, with long waiting times the most common barrier.
LGBT action plan priorities
Advice and influencing
We will work across programmes at NHS England and NHS Improvement and with external partners to reduce LGBT health inequalities and improve access and experience.
Sexual orientation, inclusive gender and trans status monitoring
We will scale up the roll out of Sexual Orientation Monitoring across health and social care services, and begin developing a standard for inclusive gender and trans status monitoring, to improve our data on LGBT groups and improve care.
We will develop the evidence base for LGBT Health inequalities, and use this to inform policy change.
Education and training
We will develop and share best practice education and training to improve healthcare professionals’ awareness and understanding of LGBT communities, across all professions, to improve experience for LGBT patients.