Dr Michael Brady, the medical director of the Terrence Higgins Trust, has been appointed as the first NHS advisor on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) health. The NHS has also appointed an expert committee which will advise on key issues such as conversion therapy, improving access and tackling inequality in healthcare.
Dr Brady who is a sexual health and HIV consultant at King’s College Hospital, will advise the government on how to tackle inequality in the healthcare system including:
- improving healthcare professionals’ awareness of LGBT issues
- the implementation of sexual orientation monitoring across the NHS
- working with statutory and professional organisations to address LGBT issues in physical and mental health services.
The government says that at least 16% of LGBT survey respondents who accessed or tried to access healthcare services in the last year up to October 2017 had a negative experience because of their sexual orientation, and over half of those surveyed who accessed or tried to access mental health services said they had to wait too long. Yet LGBT people are more likely to experience mental health problems than the general population.
Dr Brady joined Terrence Higgins Trust as a trustee in 2004 and became the organisation’s first medical director in 2007.He has also worked on specific projects in an advisory capacity for the British HIV Association, the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, the Royal College of Physicians, NHS England and the Department of Health.
Dr Brady said: “I’m delighted to be chosen to advise government and the NHS on the work that needs to be done to improve the health and well-being of LGBT communities. I want to ensure that every LGBT person is treated with dignity and respect and receives the right information, treatment and care.
“I want all healthcare workers to understand the needs of LGBT individuals and for everyone to feel comfortable and confident that they will be treated fairly when they access healthcare.”
Dr Brady and some of the new members of the LGBT advisory panel will attend the government equalities office conference in London today. The panel will guide the government on policy, help to deliver its LGBT action plan, act as a sounding board, and provide evidence on the experiences of LGBT people.
Announcing the appointments minister for women and equalities Penny Mordaunt said: “Dr Brady and the experts on our new panel will give LGBT people and those working on their behalf a direct route to speak to government and shape policy on decisions that affect their daily lives.
“Everyone should be able to love who they wish to and live their life free from fear and discrimination. That’s why we are working at pace with organisations and across government to make sure our action plan can bring about real, lasting change for LGBT people in the UK.”