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NHS staff to ask about patients’ sexuality

NHS staff in England are set to ask about their patients’ sexuality to ensure “that no patient is discriminated against” new guidelines have promised.

The new policy, which will require healthcare professionals to ask patients who are over the age of 16 about their sexuality, are part of new guidelines to help ensure that patients aren’t discriminated against.

The new policy, which was constructed with NHS England and the LGBT Foundation applies to all healthcare professionals including local councils who are responsible for adult social

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A spokeswoman said: “It will have no impact on the care [people] receive.”

She added: “All health bodies and local authorities with responsibility for adult social care are required under the Equality Act to ensure that no patient is discriminated against.”

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Staff will ask people whether their sexuality falls into four main categories: Straight, Gay or Lesbian, Bisexual and “other – not listed”.

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Which of the following options best describes how you think of yourself?
1. Heterosexual or Straight
2. Gay or Lesbian
3. Bisexual
4. Other sexual orientation not listed
U. Person asked and does not know or is not sure
Z. Not stated (person asked but declined to provide a response)
9. Not known (not recorded)

People who aren’t sure about their sexuality will be marked with a U, those who do not state their sexuality will be marked with an Z and those who’s sexuality was not recorded will be marked with a  nine.

Patients will be asked at “every face to face contact with the patient, where no record of this data already exists”.

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