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Gay health workers bullied because of their sexual orientation

Stonewall charity finds almost a quarter of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans health workers have heard colleagues make negative comments about LGBT people or use discriminatory terms such as ‘poof’ and ‘dyke’

Almost a quarter of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans health workers have heard colleagues make negative comments about LGBT people or use discriminatory terms such as ‘poof’ and ‘dyke’.

Workplace discrimination was revealed by research undertaken for LGBT charity Stonewall, which also found 26% had been bullied by colleagues because of their sexual orientation.

The YouGov survey of 3,000 health and social care staff across England, Scotland and Wales also found 57% do not believe sexual orientation to be relevant to one’s health needs.

One nurse, based in the north west of England, was told by a colleague with strong religious beliefs that he should be hanging from a tree. Others refused to drink from a mug he had used in case they were infected with AIDS.

The report recommends that health and social care organisations should develop highly visible campaigns against bullying, which promote a zero-tolerance approach to abuse on the grounds of gender.  The charity also calls for mandatory LGBT-inclusive equality and diversity training that covers language.

Employers should also make it clear to patients that phobic abuse will not be tolerated.

Stonewall chief executive Ruth Hunt said: ‘The report contains some truly shocking revelations, such as evidence that high numbers of patient-facing staff witness colleagues stating that they believe in a gay “cure”.’

Stonewall is calling on the government to publicly condemn so-called ‘gay cure’ therapy, and for health and social care leaders to push the message that trying to ‘cure’ LGBT people is harmful.

To read the Unhealthy Attitudes report click here

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