Everything you always wanted to know about sexual orientation monitoring but were afraid to ask

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NHS North West in partnership with The Lesbian & Gay Foundation is launching a groundbreaking new sexual orientation monitoring resource today (Monday June 13th).

“Everything you always wanted to know about sexual orientation monitoring… but were afraid to ask”, aims to encourage public sector organisations to take the lead in implementing sexual orientation monitoring, by highlighting the benefits for organisations, staff and service users.

Paul Martin, Chief Executive of the Lesbian & Gay Foundation questions, “Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people count, so why aren’t we counted?”

“This guide is vital in encouraging the public sector to lead on sexual orientation monitoring to redress this inequality.
The LGB community contributes over £40 billion pounds to the cost of public services, so it is absolutely vital that those services – like education, housing, health and policing – are designed to meet their needs, so that LGB people feel confident in using them or working within them.”

The Equality Act 2010 has consolidated UK equality law, and set out a public equality duty to ensure that all public sector organisations take into account the needs of people with protected characteristics when designing and delivering services.

Monitoring for protected characteristics, including sexual orientation, is essential if organisations are to prove that they are meeting these requirements.

“Everything you always wanted to know about sexual orientation monitoring… but were afraid to ask”, highlights that investing in equality makes good business sense, as understanding the needs of staff and service users leads to more targeted and successful work, saving money in the long run.

Shahnaz Ali, associate director for equality, diversity and human rights at NHS North West, welcomes the resource and its place in NHS North West’s groundbreaking equality work: “Resources like this can help the NHS and other public sector bodies get better at what we do through developing a more sophisticated understanding of local population needs. Effective monitoring can also help reduce staff turnover and sickness absence and cut recruitment costs. With the pressures on funding which the public sector is facing, this simply makes good business sense.”

“Everything you always wanted to know about sexual orientation monitoring… but were afraid to ask” will be available in both a print and an online version. These will be showcased at the launch, with some copies available. For more information and copies of the resource, email heather.williams@lgf.org.uk

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