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GPs asked to record patients' sexual orientation

NHS England has issued guidance for GPs and other health and social care professionals on how to record a patient's sexual orientation.

The guidance says healthcare professionals should ask any patient aged 16 or over 'which of the following options best describes how you think of yourself?' and give the options: heterosexual or straight; gay or lesbian; bisexual; or 'other sexual orientation not listed'.

Patients can also be recorded as having been 'asked and does not know or is not sure'; 'not stated' (person asked but declined to provide a response); or 'not known' (not recorded).

NHS England, which developed the guidance with input from the LGBT Foundation, has stressed patients are not obliged to respond to the question.

The guidance, published earlier this month, says: 'We recommend that sexual orientation monitoring occurs at every face to face contact with the patient, where no record of this data already exists.'

Readers' comments (9)

  • FFS ideally placed again NOT.

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  • 'We recommend that sexual orientation monitoring occurs at every face to face contact with the patient, where no record of this data already exists.'

    .....Why? how does it affect treatment? Why is it relevant? (assuming the patient has not presented with a GUM problem)

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  • I am not sure most patients would be keen on being quizzed on this, sounds like an opportunity for (not unjustified) complaints. Utter and absolute merde

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  • But do they have a smoke alarm? Do their grandchildren visit often?

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  • Laughable advice again from The Silly People at NHS England.
    As GPs we are of course ideally placed to protect patient confidentiality and we should continue to do just that.
    It is a bit scary that the guidance uses the word 'patient' rather than 'client' (Social care speak).
    Musing on it though, sharing one's sexual orientation more widely can only lead to trouble in all sorts of ways.

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  • AlanAlmond

    This is an intrusion and not something I am going to do unless i judge it to be directly relivant to the problem they are consulting with, otherwise I refuse.

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  • Unless clinically relevant it’s none of my business and I won’t be asking.

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  • Errrr... No

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  • Nope!

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