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#GPnews: Knowing patients' sexual orientation 'helpful' to GPs, says RCGP chair

16:00 A leading GP has defended the new NHS England guidance which says GPs should ask all patients if they are straight, gay or lesbian.

RCGP chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard has said it is 'certainly helpful for a GP to know' their patients' sexual orientation as it 'can potentially have an impact on some aspects of their healthcare'.

But, like NHS England itself has also said will be the case, she said 'it should always be a patient's choice whether they disclose this information'.

Professor Stokes-Lampard added: 'We would like to reassure patients that any information they tell their GP is completely confidential, and we are highly trained to have non-judgemental conversations about all issues that might be affecting their health and wellbeing, so we would encourage our patients to disclose anything that they think may be relevant.'

09:50 At the time of writing, over 42,000 people have signed a petition against proposals for patients to require a referral to visit A&E.

As revealed exclusively by Pulse last week, a senior NHS England official said they may trial a 'talk before you walk' scheme requiring patients not arriving via ambulance to be referred or speak with a GP or other clinician before attending A&E.

The petition, promoted by campaign group 38 Degrees, calls on health secretary Jeremy Hunt to 'rule out any plans that would require patients see their GP or call 111 before being allowed to visit A&E'.

It adds: 'Extreme measures like these are only being considered because our NHS is at breaking point. A huge petition will show that these new proposals are unacceptable, and convince Jeremy Hunt to drop the idea before it's trialled.'

NHS England and the Department of Health said in official statements that they have no plans to bring the proposals to a pilot.

NHS England has also 'sincerely apologised' to Pulse for initially claiming the story was false.

Seen something interesting? Email or tweet @pulsetoday with the hashtag #GPnews


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Readers' comments (5)

  • Ildiko Spelt

    This cannot be allowed to happen. When can GPs assess these patients as well? Where do they take the GPs from??? Patients will die if they don’t get the needed attention ....Sick thinking ... There are abusers as well and they could be triaged there before admiting to A&E, but don’t punish everyone for those abusers....DO NOT FORGET Jeremy taking His kids to A&E for a cold !!!!

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  • Is it April 1st?

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  • The lunatic have taken over and are running the asylum.

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  • Cobblers

    Lady Double-Barrel shows herself in her true light. A government stooge.

    If it is relevant and pertinent to the health discussion then it is right that the sexual orientation of the person is asked.

    To ask all patients is prurience.

    So no change then. Move along there, nothing to see.

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  • David Banner

    Fortunately nobody on the front line will pay any attention to this witless nonsense, but it shows the chasm of disconnect between the troops and our generals. The NHS, and primary care in particular, is in an existential crisis, yet we have people at the top spouting irrelevant tripe about recording patients' sexuality. Just pipe down and crack on with finding some GPs to fill the widening breach, not this air-headed, attention-seeking, media-friendly, oh-so-trendy bunkum.

    "Calm down madam, I appreciate you have crushing chest pain and can't breathe, but we cannot start treatment until you tell me whether you are a lesbian or not"

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