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Essex GP surgeries delivering gold-standard LGBT care

01 Jun Essex GP surgeries delivering gold-standard LGBT care

This Pride Month, 15 GP surgeries across three Essex districts have stepped up to meet the needs of their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) patients, some among the first in the country to receive a special award.

The GP practices in mid Essex, comprising Braintree District, Chelmsford City and Maldon District, have all received awards from the Pride in Practice programme for making services more accessible for LGBT people in their communities. And 11 have further cause to be proud as they are the first in the county to receive the Pride in Practice Gold Award – the highest possible rating available.

Dr Anna Davey, Chair of NHS Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group and a GP partner at a Braintree District surgery deemed outstanding by the LGBT Foundation, said:
“I’m really proud that such a large number of colleagues in local surgeries have proved their commitment to giving our LGBT residents the best standard of care. We know that even unconscious bias is something to be wary of so I am delighted we can show we are a safe place for everyone to discuss their health with us.

“I would encourage all mid Essex practices to sign up for the scheme once we are through the current challenging times, as my practice found it of real benefit to us as well as our patients. I hope everyone has a safe and happy Pride Month.”

Planned and delivered by the LGBT Foundation, Pride in Practice is an evidence-based scheme open to all GP surgeries in mid Essex, the first area of the UK outside Greater Manchester it has been offered. The programme is endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners and other clinical bodies and measures how well surgeries meet the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and regulatory bodies.

Most importantly, the programme supports surgery staff to strengthen relationships with LGBT patients and more confidently support their needs.

Dr Michael Brady, National Advisor for LGBT Health, NHS England and NHS Improvement, said:
“Now more than ever it is vital that we address LGBT health inequalities. Pride in Practice is a great example of primary care services taking the lead to improve the care and experience of LGBT patients. Through better monitoring, staff training and the support provided by the LGBT Foundation, practices are able to both identify inequalities and address them. I applaud all these practices for their efforts in ensuring they deliver LGBT inclusive care and look forward to seeing more services taking up this initiative.”