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Zero tolerance for unhealthy attitudes

A report published last year by Stonewall revealed the persistence of negative attitudes to LGBT people in health and social care services, with a significant problem existing between staff. Managers’ failure to support employees and challenge remarks, however subtle, are part of the problem.

A major survey has uncovered shocking accounts of homophobia and transphobia in health and social care settings – with staff often targeted by their colleagues

‘Dyke’, ‘poof’ and ‘she-male’ are among the derogatory terms that nurses hear colleagues use about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual people, according to a survey of 3,000 health and social care staff published last year.

Picture credit: Chris Keegan

The YouGov survey, conducted for the charity Stonewall, found discrimination towards LGBT staff from patients, and from staff towards LGBT patients and service users. But it also identified a significant problem between staff. A quarter (26%) of lesbian, gay and bisexual staff who responded to the survey reported being bullied as a result of their sexual orientation. One in six respondents – including doctors, nurses, counsellors, carers and managers – were aware of lesbian, gay and bisexual


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