A scheme to help primary healthcare teams support members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) community has expanded to London.
Pride in Practice, a programme run by the Manchester-based LGBT Foundation, aims to reduce the health inequalities experienced by LGBT â€¯people by providing training to pharmacists, GPs, dentists and optometrists.
The programme began in 2012, and until 2019 it has been solely based in Greater Manchester. But Claire Marshall, the programme’s co-ordinator, said the Government Equalities Office had commissioned the LGBT Foundation to roll out Pride in Practice through five London clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) — â€¯Lewisham, Southwark, Lambeth, Wandsworth CCG and North West London — and, consequently, a pilot scheme offering training and accreditation to healthcare providers will now begin across those areas of London.
Nationally, Eastern Cheshire, Mid Essex, St Helens, Greater Huddersfield, Calderdale and North Kirklees CCGs have also expressed interest in running the programme in future.
Marshall said: “We’re really excited about the expansion, and the CCGs have been really encouraging and proactive in wanting to be involved.”
“Many LGBT people won’t openly disclose their sexual orientation, gender identity and trans status unless they feel safe. We train staff in how to show patients to offer a safe, inclusive service.”
In an interview with The Pharmaceutical Journal, Dipesh Raghwani, managing director of SMS Pharmacy in Salford — the first pharmacy to be accredited under the programme, in 2017 — described the Pride in Practice training as “eye-opening” for his team.
“It raised awareness in of issues that we may not have thought of before: for example, hormones for trans people and health inequalities in the community, like smoking and mental health,” he said.
“It’s about making sure that the service we offer is catering to the needs of the LGBT community”.
Pharmacists who would like to find out more about Pride in Practice can contact Marshall at firstname.lastname@example.org.