Minister for Equalities Congratulates Essex GP Surgery with Gold Award in Trailblazing Programme for LGBT Patients

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Fern House Pride in Practice Gold Award website

Today, Fern House Surgery in Witham, Essex, became the latest GP Surgery to be presented with a Pride in Practice Gold Award (PiP).

The programme, produced by the LGBT Foundation and funded by the Government Equalities Office, trains GPs and staff in primary care organisations to fully support LGBT patients.

PiP trains practitioners to meet the needs of their LGBT patients, from making a practice more welcoming to ensuring that patients are addressed in an appropriate way.

The Minister for Equalities, Baroness Williams, praised Fern House for completing the programme, demonstrating a real commitment to providing excellent and appropriate care to their LGBT patients.

As part of the LGBT Action Plan, in 2018 the Government Equalities Office launched a £1m health grant scheme to fund projects to ensure LGBT people get the right healthcare support, and appointed a National Adviser for LGBT health.

Minister for Equalities, Baroness Williams, said:

“It’s vital that LGBT people are able to access the healthcare that they need, and be treated with respect whilst doing so.

“I would like to congratulate Fern House on achieving the Gold Award for the Pride in Practice programme, it shows commitment to serving LGBT people in a supportive and respectful manner.”

Dr Joanne Hopcroft, Senior GP Partner at Fern House Surgery said:

“Taking part in Pride in Practice has been a really worthwhile experience for all our staff and will make a positive difference to our patients. We have all learned a great deal about LGBT+ healthcare access which helps meet our vision as a practice of giving all our patients the same level of service regardless of who they are. I would encourage any practice that has not already signed up for Pride in Practice to get involved.”

Dr Anna Davey, Clinical Chair at NHS Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group said:

“I’d like to extend my congratulations to everyone at Fern House Surgery for this excellent achievement. Here in mid Essex, we want to make sure all members of our local LGBT+ community are able to have open and honest conversations with health and care professionals, so people’s individual needs are properly identified and they get the best health support and advice.”

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) has funded LGBT Foundation to deliver the Pride in Practice training to 350 primary care services, piloting the scheme in NHS GP practices, dentists, pharmacies and optometrists outside of Manchester in London and more rural areas of England.

Last week, the Royal College of GPs launched a new suit of e-learning resources, also funded by the Government Equalities Office, to support healthcare professionals to deliver the best possible care for LGBT patients.