Following a recent survey of 108,000 LGBTQ people in the UK – the largest of its kind anywhere in the world – the UK Government found that the NHS is currently failing the LGBTQ community.
The research found that many LGBTQ people said that they have difficulty accessing adequate healthcare, while some members of initialism said they had fallen victim to inappropriate questioning from staff.
As a result, the Women and Equalities Committee have been asked to conduct an enquiry to look into the current issues LGBTQ people face when it comes to healthcare, and how they can be improved.
The survey found that at least 16% of respondents have had a negative experience when accessing the NHS because of their sexual orientation.
That number increases to 38% when applied to gender identity.
Elsewhere, a huge 72% of LGBTQ people said that accessing or trying to access mental health services had not been easy, with 51% saying they had to wait for too long before receiving the support they needed.
Moreover, 27% admitted that they were anxious, worried or embarrassed about seeking help, and 16% said their GP was not supportive.
When comes to having a negative experience accessing healthcare in the past year, 21% of asexual said that was the case for them, as did 40% of trans people who responded to the survey.
“…[S]ome report that they still face discrimination in health and social care, and there are inequalities in outcomes between LGBTI groups and the wider population,” said Maria Miller, who chairs the committee.
“This is therefore a crucial time for us to look at how services can best be provided and improved for LGBTI patients.
“We want to hear from organisations, individuals, researchers and service providers about what can be done to make health and social services more effective for LGBTI people.”
The Committee has asked anyone – whether that’s individuals or organisations – who wants to submit written evidence to do so by 5 October 2018.