News story

Minister for Equalities congratulates Essex GP Surgery for winning Gold Award in trailblazing programme for LGBT patients

Today, Fern House Surgery in Witham, Essex, became the latest GP Surgery to be presented with a Pride in Practice Gold Award.

Fern House Surgery staff receiving award
  • Fern House Surgery in Witham to receive Gold in Pride in Practice (PiP) programme
  • PiP trains staff in LGBT inclusivity
  • Minister for Equalities praises practice for commitment to providing an excellent service to LGBT people

The programme, produced by the LGBT Foundation and funded by the Government Equalities Office, trains GPs and staff in primary care organisations to fully support LGBT patients.

PiP trains practitioners to meet the needs of their LGBT patients, from making a practice more welcoming to ensuring that patients are addressed in an appropriate way.

The Minister for Equalities, Baroness Williams, praised Fern House for completing the programme, demonstrating a real commitment to providing excellent and appropriate care to their LGBT patients.

As part of the LGBT Action Plan, in 2018 the Government Equalities Office launched a £1m health grant scheme to fund projects to ensure LGBT people get the right healthcare support, and appointed a National Adviser for LGBT health.

Minister for Equalities, Baroness Williams, said:

“It’s vital that LGBT people are able to access the healthcare that they need, and be treated with respect whilst doing so.

“I would like to congratulate Fern House on achieving the Gold Award for the Pride in Practice programme, it shows commitment to serving LGBT people in a supportive and respectful manner.”

Dr Joanne Hopcroft, Senior GP Partner at Fern House Surgery said:

“Taking part in Pride in Practice has been a really worthwhile experience for all our staff and will make a positive difference to our patients. We have all learned a great deal about LGBT+ healthcare access which helps meet our vision as a practice of giving all our patients the same level of service regardless of who they are. I would encourage any practice that has not already signed up for Pride in Practice to get involved.”

Dr Anna Davey, Clinical Chair at NHS Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group said:

“I’d like to extend my congratulations to everyone at Fern House Surgery for this excellent achievement. Here in mid Essex, we want to make sure all members of our local LGBT+ community are able to have open and honest conversations with health and care professionals, so people’s individual needs are properly identified and they get the best health support and advice.”

Cllr Peter Tattersley, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Braintree District Council said:

“It is so encouraging to see Fern House achieve the Pride in Practice Gold Award and lead the way in the district for providing excellent care for LGBT patients. I hope to see other surgeries across the district follow suit and ensure all residents are getting the care and support they deserve.”

The GEO has funded LGBT Foundation to deliver the Pride in Practice training to 350 primary care services, piloting the scheme in NHS GP practices, dentists, pharmacies and optometrists outside of Manchester in London and more rural areas of England.

Last week, the Royal College of GPs launched a new suit of e-learning resources, also funded by the Government Equalities Office, to support healthcare professionals to deliver the best possible care for LGBT patients.

Notes to editors:

Any surgeries wishing to enrol in the programme should get in touch via:

The Pride in Practice scheme includes:

  • Access to training around LGBT inclusion, which provides information on how to provide appropriate services to LGBT people, support around Sexual Orientation and Trans Status Monitoring, myth busting, and confidence building with staff around terminology and appropriate language.
  • Support to deliver effective active signposting and social prescribing for LGBT communities, linking services with a range of LGBT-affirmative local community assets to facilitate holistic approaches to care.
  • Ongoing support from a dedicated Account Manager providing consultancy and support on a range of topics based on the needs of the service, identified through the supported assessment.
  • Community Leaders volunteers who provide insight and lived experience to ensure patient voice, influence and greater public involvement.
  • LGBT patient insight so that services can be proactive about meeting LGBT patients’ needs (i.e. access to research, focus group data and case studies sharing best practice), via involvement of Community Leader volunteers who we will support to ensure increased patient and public involvement in the programme.
  • Practical support, guidance and confidence building for staff members on how to implement the Sexual Orientation Monitoring Information Standard.
  • An accreditation award, including a wall plaque and Pride in Practice logos for letterheads and websites. This enables primary care services to promote their equality credentials, and demonstrates their commitment to ensuring a fully inclusive, patient-centred service. Awards are graded Bronze, Silver or Gold depending on assessment results. Assessments are carried out with the support of a dedicated Account Manager.
Published 22 January 2020