Working with LGBT patients
Working with Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Patients
First remember they're patients like any other patient and deserve respect and good quality healthcare. Much of the research has suggested that LGB patients sometimes have difficulty disclosing their sexuality to healthcare practitioners and that they have concerns about confidentiality being respected by admin staff. So rather than being slack jawed when the builder sitting in front of you tells you about his boyfriend think about it.
There are some really useful documents out there to help you think about how to make your practice more LGB friendly:
Developed in 2007 this short leaflet makes some good points about how to better work with LGBT patients, it was followed by a briefing paper in 2008 which included more of the evidence base.
5 short downloadable films from the Department of Health about LGBT Health and what the NHS can do to better support LGBT patients.
A short checklist produced by the Terrence Higgins Trust that sets out ten simple things that you can do to make your practice better for your gay and bisexual patients.
These are great quick guides to making small, inexpensive changes to GP practices which will make huge difference to the LGB patients who use them.
Not Just a Friend
Produced by the RCN and UNISON this is a great guide to working with LGB patients and their families, friends and partners:
Good Practice Guide from Scotlands LGBT Health Project
This is a useful starter for ten on organisational approaches which can help you make your practice more LGBT friendly:
The American Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
Guide to being an lgbt friendly healthcare provider from the US, it is very comprehensive in building an inclusive practice/clinic environment.
Here is a useful online teaching tool for healthcare professionals from Canada which might be helpful when training about LGBT health care, they might be helpful when trying to implement the DH core standards on training for LGBT healthcare.
Working with Transgender Patients
Best Practice for Working with Trans People - The Department of Health worked with Trans groups and individuals in 2008 to produce this practical best practice advice for NHS organisations to address their responsibilities relating to trans employment and healthcare delivery.
Guidance for GPs, other clinicians and health professionals on the care of gender variant people - Gender variant (trans or transgender) people are relatively rarely seen in GP surgeries. Many GPs say that they lack the knowledge to treat those experiencing gender variant conditions, and, consequently, they are not confident to do so.
The first part of this publication provides an overview of care for trans people that is particularly applicable to GPs. Hormone therapy is central to transgender primary care, and issues such as assessment and diagnosis are also relevant to general practice. These topics are discussed in greater detail in Annexes C and D.
An introduction to working with Trans people - produced in 2007 this Department of Health leaflet has some simple tips for working with Trans people
5 short downloadable films from the Department of Health about LGBT Health and what the NHS can do to better support LGBT patients. It includes a specific short film about trans people's experiences in 88 kilograms.
Press for Change - has produced a great online resource to help practitioners think through their understanding and approach to transgender patients, it is important to remember transgendered patients will be seeing you for more than their gender re-assignment and as with any patient they deserve respect and good quality healthcare.