1.In July 2018 the Government published its National LGBT Survey and LGBT Action Plan, which committed to improving the lives of LGBT people in the UK. The same month, an event on LGBT and health inequalities was held by the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (POST).1 Researchers noted that there is often an unhelpful conflation of LGBT health services with sexual health services and that the inequalities experienced by LGBT communities in health and social care were much broader. This is why we called for evidence on how well policy-makers and service-providers were taking into account the health and social care needs of the LGBT communities.
2.The inquiry was launched in August 2018 and received 100 written submissions from academics, community groups, local authorities and public service providers. We began taking oral evidence in May 2019, after holding an outreach event for LGBT people to tell us about their experiences of health and social care directly. Witnesses included experts in a variety of policy areas, LGBT people speaking about their own experiences, organisations conducting representative and advocacy work, service-providers, and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and Minister for Equalities. We thank all of our witnesses and those who submitted evidence for their valuable contributions.
3.One of the challenges raised by this inquiry was the potentially broad scope of the subject matter - there were many issues that were raised that we were not able to fully explore. We received a number of submissions about trans-specific issues, including several submissions from the parents of transgender children relating to gender identity services. These submissions were considered carefully and we appreciate the time that people took to write to us. However, we concluded that this report needed to focus on the discrimination that LGBT communities experience in their day-to-day interaction with health and social care services across the board rather than on problems that exist with specific services. There is much work still to do and we are certain that this report will help Government and health and social care services to improve their work with LGBT communities.
1 Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology, ‘LGBT+ Health Inequalities’, accessed 24 September 2019
Published: 22 October 2019