LGBT rights charity Stonewall called for an anti-bullying and discrimination campaign across the NHS yesterday as well as training for healthcare professionals, after a study for the group found widespread negative attitudes.
The research into homophobia and transphobia in the health and social care sector revealed that one in 10 patient-facing workers in Britain have overheard colleagues expressing the view that gay people can be “cured” of their sexual orientation.
The study also found that a third of health and social care staff in Scotland have heard colleagues speak disparagingly about lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
Seventy-seven per cent of patient-facing staff in Scotland also said that they had not received training on the health needs of LGBT people, the rights of same-sex partners and parents, and how to use inclusive language.
Stonewall chief executive Ruth Hunt said the gap in training and knowledge relating to LGBT people was “worrying.”
She warned that the discrimination and lack of understanding was “creating a healthcare system that treats both its LGBT patients and colleagues unfairly, leading to inevitable ongoing health inequalities.”
Ms Hunt condemned the “shocking revelations” about staff believing in gay “cures” as “incredibly harmful and dangerous.”
Stonewall Scotland director Colin Macfarlane said: “NHS Scotland advocates the value of person-centred care,” but the “research demonstrates this is too often a long way from patients’ lived experience of healthcare services in Scotland.”
He called on the Scottish government to publicly condemn gay-cure therapy.
The Scottish government welcomed the report,with a spokesperson saying it would continue to promote equality and diversity.