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GM to improve healthcare services for LGBT community

25th August 2016

A new partnership will transform fundamental healthcare services for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in Greater Manchester. 

The Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership and NHS England are joining forces with LGBT Foundation to tackle health inequalities and improve understanding of LGBT issues at more than a thousand GP Practices, Pharmacies, Dental practices and Optometry outlets across the region.

All primary care services in Greater Manchester now have the opportunity to go for a bronze, silver or gold award for excellence in lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans healthcare.

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The three organisations will collectively commit nearly £500,000 over three years to support healthcare professionals to increase their awareness and confidence when working with LGBT people.

This means more user friendly terminology in practices and online, greater awareness of the issues that specifically affect LGBT people, and closer collaboration with the LGBT community to improve their experiences of healthcare.

The Partnership will build on the positive Pride in Practice programme, which has worked in Manchester since 2011 to strengthen and develop relationships between GP practices, their LGBT patients and the local communities. Over 100 surgeries – representing over 250,000 patients across the region – have registered with Pride in Practice over the past five years.

The funding will be used to expand this initiative to all 10 localities within Greater Manchester and across all aspects of primary care to include pharmacists, optometrists and dentists as well as continuing the ground-breaking work already being done with GPs.

Jon Rouse, Chief Officer of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said:

Pride in Practice is an established and well-respected programme that has successfully helped tackle areas of inequality in Manchester. It is therefore very exciting to be able to make a broader commitment to ensure that good work is expanded across all of the region’s 10 localities.

“The process of health and social care devolution allows us the freedom to make these improvements and work collaboratively across the region to increase confidence amongst our hard-working healthcare professionals to provide the best possible service at all times.

“We are delighted to be working closely with the LGBT Foundation and NHS England in this project and look forward to transforming the experience of Greater Manchester’s thriving LGBT community.”

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Thanks to the new funding Pride in Practice will become fully trans inclusive and a key ingredient of the new improved service will be the input made by LGBT people themselves. This follows a successful pilot project with LGBT Foundation’s Community Leaders programme which ensures that lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people’s experiences are central to improving primary care services across Greater Manchester.

Paul Martin OBE, Chief Executive of LGBT Foundation said:

Pride in Practice has provided LGBT Foundation with fantastic insight into the healthcare needs of our communities and we are delighted that this programme can now benefit Greater Manchester’s trans community and all primary care services. This funding enables us to reach even more people and have an even bigger impact on LGBT people’s experiences of healthcare.”

“We can be proud that Greater Manchester is once again leading the way when it comes to reaching out to its LGBT citizens, enabling our local voices to pioneer national developments in improving access to healthcare.”

For more information and how to get involved with Pride in Practice go here: http://lgbt.foundation/news-articles/all-new-improved-pride-in-practice-/

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