Health and social care and LGBT communities

Scope of the inquiry

The Government’s recent survey of 108,000 LGBT people found that many had difficulties accessing healthcare services, some had experienced inappropriate questioning and curiosity from healthcare staff, and that many feel their specific needs are not taken into account in their care. 

The Women and Equalities Committee launches an inquiry to consider whether provision is adequate, whether discrimination is still occurring, and what more needs to be done to improve access to health and social care.

The Government’s findings included:

  • At least 16% of survey respondents had a negative experience of accessing public health services because of their sexual orientation, and 38% because of their gender identity;
  • 72% of LGBT people who had accessed or tried to access mental health services reported that it had not been easy. Fifty one per cent said they had to wait too long, 27% were worried, anxious or embarrassed about going, and 16% said their GP was not supportive;
  • Twenty one per cent of asexual people have had a negative experience of healthcare in the past year, as have 40% of trans people, with over a third saying that accessing sexual health services is “not easy”;
  • Nearly half of bisexual people say they have never been out to anyone in a care setting, and 67% have never disclosed their sexuality to a healthcare professional;
  • Nearly a quarter (23%) say that being out in a care setting has had a negative effect on their care.