NHS Sexual Orientation Monitoring Standard

Research shows that that Lesbian Gay and Bisexual (LGB) people experience greater health inequalities compared to heterosexual people, such as being at higher risk of poor mental health, or missing out on routine health screening. If a healthcare service collects information on patient sexual orientation, they will be able to target specific health promotion and services to LGB patients: for example, promoting cervical screening to lesbian and bisexual women; or referring young LGB people experiencing poor mental health to a specific LGB young people’s service.

The sexual orientation monitoring information standard provides a consistent mechanism for recording the sexual orientation of all patient’s/service users aged 16 years and above across all health services in England. It will also cover local authorities with responsibilities for adult social care in all service areas where it may be relevant to record this data using a standardised format.

This standard provides the categories for recording sexual orientation but does not mandate a collection.

What question will be used to monitor sexual orientation?

The following question will be used to monitor sexual orientation:

Sexual orientation:

Which of the following options best describes how you think of yourself?

    1. Heterosexual or Straight
    2. Gay or Lesbian
    3. Bisexual
    4. Other sexual orientation not listed
    5. Person asked and does not know or is not sure
    6. Not stated (person asked but declined to provide a response)
    7. Not known (not recorded)

What are the expected benefits of this standard?

This standard will enable health and social care organisations to monitor sexual orientation in a way that is consistent with all other parts of the healthcare system.

  • The implementation of this standard will deliver benefits across a number of areas:cCare providers and commissioners are able to demonstrate that there is equitable access for LGB individuals;
  • care providers and commissioners have an improved understanding of the impact of inequalities on health and care outcomes for LGB populations;
  • policy makers, care providers and commissioners can better identify health risks at a population level. This will support targeted preventative and early intervention work to address health inequalities for LGB populations, thereby reducing expenditure linked to treatment costs further down the line.

Further information on the standard can be found on the NHS England website.

How is NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG responding to this standard?

When undertaking consultations with the public and patients within Birmingham and Solihull the CCG will utilise (when appropriate) the categories within the standard to enable informed analysis of the impact of our decision making.

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