Penny Mordaunt, the Minister for Women and Equalities, has appointed the first ever National Adviser for LGBT Health.
Dr Michael Brady, Medical Director of the Terrence Higgins Trust and a sexual health and HIV consultant at King’s College Hospital, will advise the government on how to tackle inequality in the healthcare system including:
- Improving healthcare professionals’ awareness of LGBT issues
- The implementation of sexual orientation monitoring across the NHS
- Working with statutory and professional organisations to address LGBT issues in physical and mental health services
Health inequalities: mental health
Various pieces of research have examined LGBT people's experience of mental health problems and accessing support. The National LGBT Survey which was last published in July 2018, highlighted that mental health support is an area rife with inequalities.
24% of respondents had accessed mental health services in the 12 months preceding the survey, whilst 8% had tried to access them but had been unsuccessful. 72% of those who had accessed or tried to access mental health services reported that it had not been easy.
In research commissioned by the Government Equalities Office, it was found that mental health services are the services most often perceived to be discriminatory.
Stonewall commissioned YouGov to carry out a survey on LGBT health, finding that:
- Half of LGBT people (52%) experienced depression in the last year
- One in eight LGBT people aged 18-24 (13%) said they’ve attempted to take their own life in the last year.
- One in seven LGBT people (14%) avoid seeking healthcare for fear of discrimination from staff
An advisory panel, comprised of twelve members, has been set up to support Dr Michael Brady investigate - and try to resolve - health inequalities faced by LGBT people. The members of the LGBT Advisory Panel are:
- Catherine Meads, Professor of Health at Anglia Ruskin University, specialising in hate crime
- S Chelvan, Barrister at No5 chambers, specialising in international human rights and LGBT asylum cases
- Ellen Murray, Executive Director of Transgender Northern Ireland
- James Morton, Manager at the Scottish Trans Alliance and member of the Parliamentary Forum on Gender Identity
- Jayne Ozanne, Director of the Ozanne Foundation and member of the Church of England’s General Synod
- Lewis Turner, Chief Executive of Lancashire LGBT with previous experience working on hate crime in local government
- Marcel Varney, Assistant Director of Children’s Services at Barnardo’s with experience working on adoption policy
- Paul Dillane, Executive Director of Kaleidoscope Trust
- Paul Martin, Chief Executive of LGBT Foundation
- Paul Roberts, Chief Executive of Consortium
- Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall
- Stevie-Jade Hardy, Associate Professor of Criminology and expert on equalities and hate crime at the University of Leicester
Paul Martin OBE, Chief Executive of LGBT Foundation, said:
“We are delighted to welcome Dr Michael Brady into his new role as the National Advisor for LGBT health, and look forward to working alongside him as part of the Ministerial LGBT Advisory Panel. Dr Brady brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge in the field of LGBT health and is well placed to tackle the stark health inequalities that LGBT people still face.
“We are pleased that the priorities for Dr Brady and the Ministerial Panel will include the implementation of sexual orientation monitoring across the NHS. We know that if we’re not counted, we don’t count, and gathering demographic information about patients’ sexual orientation will go a long way in ensuring the needs of LGB patients are identified and responded to.
“We look forward to supporting, and playing a leading role, in removing the barriers that many LGBT people face when accessing healthcare, through our membership of the Ministerial Advisory Panel, as part of our goal to secure a safe, healthy and equal future for all LGBT people.”
Minister for Women and Equalities Penny Mordaunt said:
“Dr Brady and the experts on our new Panel will give LGBT people and those working on their behalf a direct route to speak to government and shape policy on decisions that affect their daily lives.
“Everyone should be able to love who they wish to and live their life free from fear and discrimination. That’s why we are working at pace with organisations and across government to make sure our Action Plan can bring about real, lasting change for LGBT people in the UK.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“Every patient should feel welcomed by the NHS, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation or race. Prejudice and discrimination have no place in healthcare and I’m determined to end this injustice.
“Dr Michael Brady will bring a wealth of knowledge to the role and I welcome his appointment. A specific national adviser will help improve the LGBT community’s current experience of the NHS and ensure individuals are always treated with the compassion and consideration they deserve. I hope this will truly give people the opportunity to be involved in shaping their own experiences going forward.”
Dr Michael Brady National Adviser for LGBT Health said:
“I’m delighted to be chosen to advise government and the NHS on the work that needs to be done to improve the health and well-being of LGBT communities. I want to ensure that every LGBT person is treated with dignity and respect and receives the right information, treatment and care.
“I want all healthcare workers to understand the needs of LGBT individuals and for everyone to feel comfortable and confident that they will be treated fairly when they access healthcare.”
Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said:
“The NHS is here for everyone so we’re pleased to be hosting Dr. Brady in this new post as we chart improvements to our nation’s health for the decade ahead.”