Introduce comprehensive, mandatory training on LGBT issues for healthcare professionals
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Whilst the initial liberation of LGBT+ persons began over fifty years ago, underlying prejudices are ever-present in the British healthcare system. This brings feelings of frustration, heartache and despair to LGBT+ patients and their families at a time where effective training and support would make a world of difference. Misgendering a patient or their partner, or ignoring a patient's reference to a same-sex partner, can have profound emotional consequences on the patient and their families.
A report on "Health and Social Care and LGBT communities" in 2019 found that training in LGBT issues both pre- and post-qualification, including continuing professional development, is extremely basic, vague, inconsistent across Trusts, and of poor quality. This leads to healthcare professionals making mistakes which ultimately contribute to the enduring heterosexual narrative and suppresses LGBT+ voices.
A poll conducted through Instagram found that 86% of respondents who identify as LGBT+ have experienced homophobia from healthcare staff. This poll was started after a particularly challenging hospital trip for my partner, in which I was constantly referred to as male. Once the staff understood that I was female, I was instead referred to as "her lift home", despite my partner referring to me as her girlfriend, and being her next of kin.
We have had enough. We demand fully comprehensive, mandatory training in LGBT+ issues for all NHS and other healthcare staff to be undertaken as part of the pre-employment training package. We ask for this to initially be considered by NHS staff, and to be discussed by members of the cross-party Health and Social Care Committee.
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