Government appoints first National Adviser for LGBT Health

Minister for Women and Equalities Penny Mordaunt

  • Clinical adviser in the NHS appointed to advise on LGBT health issues
  • Expert panel also appointed, which will focus on key issues such as conversion therapy, improving access and tackling inequality in healthcare
  • Government Equalities Office to host inaugural national LGBT conference (Monday 18 March)

Minister for Women and Equalities Penny Mordaunt has today appointed the first ever National Adviser for LGBT Health in the NHS, and Advisory Panel – fulfilling the Government’s commitment to improving lives as set out in the landmark LGBT Action Plan.

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

At least 16% of LGBT survey respondents who accessed or tried to access healthcare services in the last year up to October 2017 had a negative experience because of their sexual orientation, and over half of those surveyed who accessed or tried to access mental health services said they had to wait too long. Yet LGBT people are more likely to experience mental health problems than the general population.

Dr Brady and some of the new members of the LGBT Advisory Panel will attend the Government Equalities Office (GEO) conference in London tomorrow (Monday 18 March). The panel will guide the Government on policy, help to deliver the LGBT Action plan, act as a sounding board, and provide evidence on the experiences of 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.”

The 12 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

Notes:

Javed Khan, Barnardo’s Chief Executive, said:

“We are proud that our Assistant Director Marcel Varney has been appointed to the Government’s first LGBT advisory panel. We welcome this fantastic opportunity to represent the experiences of LGBT children and young people. Marcel has been a beacon for LGBT colleagues across Barnardo’s as well as leading pioneering services to children, young people and communities.

“Barnardo’s champions awareness about LGBTQ issues in schools so that teachers can support all their students effectively and young people can support each other, promoting equality and respect for all.”

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said:

“LGBT+ communities deserve an NHS that works for them and that’s why I am proud to welcome Dr Brady to his new post. Our new National Health Advisor will make sure that LGBT+ health is at the heart of policy.”

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.”

The LGBT Action Plan can be found here.

The LGBT Conference will bring together government ministers, civil servants and LGBT sector organisations to discuss the work the government is doing to improve the lives of LGBT people. Attendees will have a chance to learn about, inform and shape thinking on a wide-range of issues covered in the LGBT Action Plan.

Dr Michael Brady joined Terrence Higgins Trust as a Trustee in 2004 and became the organisation’s first Medical Director in 2007. Michael is a sexual health and HIV consultant at King’s College Hospital, where he is the clinical lead for sexual health services.

Michael has also worked on specific projects in an advisory capacity for BHIVA, BASHH, the RCP, NHS England and the Department of Health.

Last month the GEO announced funding for twelve organisations working to improve the lives of LGBT people in the UK:

  • Advonet, LGBT Foundation, London Friend, Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest, and the Royal College of General Practitioners were awarded a share of £1 million to improve LGBT people’s health and social care
  • Barnardo’s, Diversity Role Models, Equaliteach, National Children’s Bureau, Stonewall and The Diana Award are splitting £1 million of the funding to extend work that protects children from homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. Currently the initiative, delivered by Barnardo’s and Stonewall, has supported 1200 schools in England, with the grant funding set to help that continue until March 2020
  • Consortium has been allocated £200,000 to deliver training and development to LGBT sector organisations to help them grow, mature and become more sustainable over time. Consortium will also distribute up to £400,000 of grant funding to voluntary and community groups to support LGBT community initiatives across England including annual Pride events

In her role as Secretary of State for International Development, Ms Mordaunt has also announced up to £12 million UK Aid Connect funding will be available for a consortia lead by Hivos to work on LGBT inclusion.

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