LGBT Community Invited to Next Patient Group Meeting

A patient user group set up to improve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB&T) care in Lincolnshire will hold its next meeting this month.

The group, run by Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS), will meet at 6.30pm on Wednesday, February 19, at The Scene, 35 Newland, Lincoln, LN1 1XP.

The group is part of the trust's work with Stonewall's Health Champions programme.  The programme, funded by the Department of Health, provides free support to 20 NHS organisations in England for one year to improve health services for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

The group gives LGB&T patients and carers opportunity to share their experiences and perceptions of local health services, as well as how services could be improved.

Gathering views from LGB&T people in the local community is a good way of learning what local people think about how health services are run.  Individuals and community groups are well placed to understand the needs of LGB&T people in the area and to make suggestions about how to improve healthcare services.

Rachel Higgins, Interim Equality and Human Rights Lead at LCHS, said: "The first group meeting in November went very well and was well attended.  It was interesting to hear people's varied experiences of using NHS services.  By having a group like this we are hoping to achieve real improvements in the care provided to the LGB&T community."

Members of the group may get involved by casting their eyes over NHS communication materials and telling us how these could be improved or by helping out at LGB&T health promotion events.  You can get involved as much or as little as you like.

Rachel Higgins, added: "By consulting about the issues with the people most affected by them, we can send a clear message that our organisation is serious about improving healthcare services for the LGB&T community."

Further meeting dates for 2014 and minutes from the last meeting can be found here:

http://www.lincolnshirecommunityhealthservices.nhs.uk/public/node/145

Anyone who would like more information about joining the group can contact Rachel Higgins on rachel.higgins@lincs-chs.nhs.uk or 01529 220300.