Pride in practice

As you are probably aware, February is LGBT History month and there have been a number of events taking place up and down the country.

The overall aim of LGBT History month is to promote equality and diversity for the benefit of the public, by increasing visibility, raising awareness and supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the community.

Here in Bolton, we like to pride ourselves on our inclusivity and have taken steps to ensure the LGBT community has a valuable and valid voice in what we do as a town.

We regularly engage with our LGBT community, attending support groups to learn about the issues that matter to them, and we are part of the LGBT Partnership which is a multi-disciplinary group with representatives from the council, GMP, Bolton CVS the LGBT Foundation and members of the public.

These provide insightful opportunities for us as a health commissioner to get involved with the real issues people are experiencing.

A couple of years ago we carried out a bespoke piece of engagement with transgender patients to find out about their experience with the NHS and for us to ensure we fully understood their needs and identify any further training needs.

Around the same time, we worked with the LGBT Foundation to introduce the Pride in Practice Award to all 49 GP practices in Bolton.

This formed part of the equality and inclusion standard of the Bolton Quality Contract, so all practices are now fully compliant.

The award is a mark of assurance that demonstrates the GP practice is committed to providing a fully inclusive service, that they understand their patients and they in turn can trust their practice.

I’m sure you’ll agree that this is something all patients should expect and receive.

We’re lucky to be able to welcome back the LGBT Foundation to the CCG, and they’ll be conducting a training session with us at St Peter’s House this week.

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