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National innovation call launched to address LGBT+ health inequalities

March 25, 2021

The AHSN Network and LGBT Foundation have joined forces to launch a nationwide call for innovations to help address health inequalities facing lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people, many of which have been exacerbated by Covid-19.

From MedTech and digital apps to changes in practice and new pathways, the call is open to innovations and innovative approaches that are already in use or in development.

The LGBT+ community are disproportionately affected by both ill health and social pressures. These inequalities are explored in a comprehensive compilation of evidence of LGBT+ health inequalities, which makes for difficult reading.

Ground-breaking and inspiring examples of work in this area will be showcased in a report to be published later this year, which will share best practice so that it can be spread more widely across health and care services.

The call is open until Monday 19 April 2021 and any organisation leading exemplary work in this area is encouraged to contribute at, including health and care providers, research and academia, industry, and the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector.

England’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) have come to be known as the innovation arm of the NHS. In 2019 the AHSN Network collectively signed up to a series of diversity pledges to ensure that healthcare innovation and transformation must serve all our population and reduces, not widens, health inequalities.

Richard Stubbs is Chair of the AHSN Network’s Equality and Diversity Group and Chief Executive of Yorkshire and Humber AHSN. On launching the call, Richard said:

“From lesbian women facing unconscious bias and assumptions with fertility services, lack of health services available to young trans people; through to increased likelihood of drug and alcohol use and mental health crisis, the full healthcare spectrum is more acute and severe for LGBT+ people.

“By combining the expertise of LGBT Foundation and the reach of the AHSNs, and by amplifying the good work and innovation already being developed, we hope to help change healthcare services for LGBT+ people and continue to serve our communities in an equitable and inclusive way.”

Rob Cookson, Deputy Chief Executive of LGBT Foundation, said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed deep-rooted inequalities for LGBT people and has demonstrated that these inequalities can have horrendous and even fatal consequences.

“Despite these difficult times, it is important that we also focus on the positives. There is a huge range of incredible work that is being carried out to address LGBT health inequalities. From volunteer led community groups, to large corporations, there are individuals and organisations across the country undertaking inspiring and innovative work.

“The AHSN Network and LGBT Foundation want to highlight and promote some of this amazing work and help others to learn from, and be inspired by, these examples of great practice.”

Visit the AHSN Network website for more information, to read the compilation of evidence of LGBT+ health inequalities, and to respond to the innovation call:

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by Editor