Experiences of healthcare: Stonewall health briefing

Document type
Guasp, April; Taylor, James
Date of publication
1 January 2012
Stonewall Health Briefings
Health Services
Social welfare
Material type

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Stonewall’s research demonstrates that the specific needs of lesbian, gay and bisexual people are too often overlooked in the provision of healthcare. At the same time, many experience hostility, poor treatment or outright discrimination from healthcare professionals. Stonewall now works with NHS organisations to improve the health of lesbian, gay and bisexual people and make sure the NHS is aware of its legal duties to provide an equal service to everyone. 

Patient experience is at the heart of good healthcare. Patients should be treated with dignity and respect by healthcare staff they can trust. This briefing provides evidence that for many gay people, this is simply not the case. Lesbian, gay and bisexual people are more likely to be open to their manager, to friends and to colleagues than their GP or healthcare professional. Gay people also report having assumptions made about them by healthcare staff that can impact on the care they receive. Improving patient experience need not be difficult, and there are some simple and cost effective measures which can help. Healthcare organisations that put patients at ease, and have well informed staff are much more likely to deliver high quality care to diverse communities.

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