This is a new information standard which provides the mechanism for recording the sexual orientation of all patients/ service users aged 16 years and over across all health services and Local Authorities with responsibilities for adult social care in England, for the purposes of compliance with the Equality Act 2010.
Monitoring of sexual orientation will help to ensure that:
- care providers and commissioners are able to demonstrate that there is equitable access for lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals;
- care providers and commissioners have an improved understanding of the impact of inequalities on health and care outcomes for LGB populations;
- policy makers, care providers and commissioners can better identify health risks at a population level. This will support targeted preventative and early intervention work to address health inequalities for LGB populations, thereby reducing expenditure linked to treatment costs further down the line.
The standard has been based on research conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), and on current practice by those organisations which monitor sexual orientation.
This information standard is published under section 250 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012. An Information Standards Notice (see below) provides an overview of scope and implementation timescales, and the other documents provide further detail for those who have to implement the information standard.