LGBT health

Dr Michael Brady National LGBT Health AdvisorDr Michael Brady National LGBT Health Advisor

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.

Get in touch – England.lgbtadvisor@nhs.net

Background

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.

Evidence base

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.

LGBT health priorities

Useful resources

  • Government equalities office
  • LGBT Action Plan
  • LGBT Switchboard – A helpline that provides an information, support and referral service for lesbians, gay men and bisexual and trans people – and anyone considering issues around their sexuality and/or gender identity.
  • LGBT Foundation – LGBT Foundation provide a wide range of support services to lesbian, gay, bi and trans people. They also work with healthcare and other professionals to help make public services more accessible and inclusive for LGBT communities.
  • NHS England Equalities and Health Inequalities Hub
  • Stonewall – Stonewall is an LGBT charity focussing on empowering individuals, transforming institutions, changing hearts and minds, and changing and protecting laws
  • Mermaids – Mermaids supports gender-diverse children and young people until their 20th birthday, as well as their families and professionals involved in their care.
  • Gendered Intelligence – Gendered Intelligence is a trans led charity who work with the trans community and those who impact on trans lives; they particularly specialise in supporting young trans people aged 8-25.
  • Opening doors – Opening Doors London (ODL) is the biggest charity providing information and support services specifically for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT+) people over 50 in the UK.