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LESBIAN, GAY BISEXUAL & TRANSGENDER HEALTH INEQUALITIES HIGHLIGHTED IN NEW REPORT

20th May 2013

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGB&T) Public Health Outcomes Framework Companion Document launched today, highlights the significant health inequalities experienced by LGB&T people.

The document has been developed by a group of experts from across the LGB&T community working with the Department of Health. It brings together evidence of inequalities impacting on the health of LGB&T people and their experiences of the healthcare system.

The evidence shows high rates of physical and emotional bullying, and risk of parental rejection and running away in childhood, as well as significantly higher rates of suicide and self-harm, drug and alcohol use and smoking in adulthood, and social isolation and extreme vulnerability in old age.

One of the key recommendations is that sexual orientation and gender identity should be routinely monitored in health and social care. The Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF) published by the Department of Health, does not contain data related to LGB&T communities because of the lack of monitoring and inclusion in national surveys. This means that the health needs of LGB&T people are largely ignored.

The LGB&T PHOF Companion Document seeks to redress the balance and to help everyone working in health and social care to consider the needs of LGB&T people. It provides a useful reference tool as well as best practice case studies illustrating how services can work together to improve LGB&T health. It makes recommendations across four key areas of recognition, engagement, monitoring and service provision.

Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England said:

Given as a health system we are serious about our mission to address inequalities, one group that must demand our attention is the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans community. The LGB&T Companion to the Public Health Outcomes Framework sets out the evidence base related to each public health indicator, and makes clear recommendations for action at local, regional and national levels. I have tasked the Health and Wellbeing Directorate of Public Health England, with its responsibility to lead on health inequalities, to seek ways to support the implementation of these recommendations. This is my commitment and I encourage others to do likewise.

Patricia Durr, Head of Policy, Communications & FR at METRO said

This document is a significant step forward in addressing health inequalities for LGBT people. It comes at a significant time of change for oublic health and can really help everyone involved in health commissioning, service provision and wider health promotion to meet the needs of LGBT people. We are delighted that the Department of Health and Public Health England support this approach - it provides a good model fo addressing health inequalities for other groups of people too.

ENDS.

Notes

  1. The document and accompanying resources can be found here http://www.lgf.org.uk/phof
  2. The document follows the structure of the Public Health Outcomes Framework, providing data and evidence on LGB&T communities for each indicator and domain. It makes recommendations for actions to address inequalities in outcomes for LGB&T people and communities. Reference documents highlight best practice case studies and resources to support organisations in implementing these recommendations, as well as the evidence relating to minority groups within LGB&T.
  3. The LGB&T PHOF Companion Document is intended primarily for Health and Wellbeing Boards and public health teams, as well as local authorities, the NHS, and voluntary and community organisations that commission and provide services, as a resource to improve the health and wellbeing of the diverse LGB&T communities they serve.
  4. The working group was formed following an LGB&T consultation event held by the Department of Health and Public Health England in October 2012, and has been co-ordinated by The Lesbian & Gay Foundation.
  5. The working group are: Heather Williams, Policy & Research Manager, The Lesbian & Gay Foundation www.lgf.org.uk , Dr Justin Varney, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, GLADD www.gladd.moonfruit.com , James Taylor, Senior Health Officer, Stonewall www.stonewall.org.uk , Dr Julie Fish, Reader in Social Work and Health Inequalities, De Montfort University www.dmu.ac.uk , Patricia Durr, Head of Communications and Public Relations, METRO www.metrocentreonline.org , Christie Elan-Cane, Non-gendered: Fighting for legal Recognition, www.elancane.livejournal.co.uk
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