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​Lewisham has Pride in Practice

We've excelled in the way that we've strengthened and developed GP practices' relationship with their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) patients.

Since May 2019, Lewisham CCG and Lewisham Council have supported an initiative called 'Pride in Practice' which was originally launched by the LGBT Foundation in Manchester in 2012.

Pride in Practice is a fully-funded training and award programme designed for primary care services – and one that's intended to positively reinforce way that primary care interacts with the LGBT community.

The programme package includes myth-busting training, support to deliver effective active signposting and social prescribing for LGBT communities, and ongoing support. In Lewisham, in only three months, 63 per cent of GP services have registered. And of the health professionals who have received training, all of them felt more informed afterwards.

Dr Seb Kalwij, Clinical Director with lead responsibility for Equality and Diversity, said: "Evidence shows that LGBT people access primary care later, travel further to use services they trust and often experience poorer health outcomes in some areas.

"Lewisham has one of the highest concentrations of LGBT people in Europe – and by supporting Pride in Practice, we're committed to ensuring that they are never marginalised in a healthcare setting."

Dr Kalwij added: "Lewisham has seen the greatest take up of any area in the extended programme, which is a marvellous achievement. I'm very pleased that so many healthcare professionals have signed up to the initiative."

The Pride in Practice programme is endorsed and informed by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Royal College of General Practitioners, Care Quality Commission, and the Government Equalities Office.

Dr Kalwij said: "The feedback from those who have taken part in Pride in Practice has been overwhelmingly positive, with many reporting that it's been informative, interesting and made a tangible difference.

"I encourage any practice that has not taken part to do so – it'll bring significant and changes to the way that you engage LGBT patients."

Tara Finnie, Practice Manager at Lee Road Surgery, said: ""This is very refreshing for us as it's something that improves our service while actually benefitting our patients, which is what we are all here for."

Any pharmacy or practice wishing to join Pride in Practice should email PIP@LGBT.Foundation