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.’