Between public and private: LGBT health care in the UK



In the United Kingdom, the relationship between social demands and health policy has been a key point of contention for decades. At the crossroads of social and health policy issues lie the longstanding effects of health institutions on historically marginalised communities. One of these is the LGBT community which has specific, unique health needs that have been misunderstood or excluded from common NHS health practice. The expansion of private health coverage options has also diversified options and created a domain dominated by profit rather than public direction. What does this entail for LGBT health? How will this unique mixture of healthcare options close widening outcome and treatment gaps?


Under the guidance of Dr. Jonathan Bell and Dr. Bruno Cesar Barbosa from University College London, we are aiming to investigate the current status of LGBT healthcare in the UK and investigate how the proliferation of private organisations, NGOs, and social movements have shaped NHS policy. Much of Dr. Bell’s work on LGBT healthcare in the past was focused in the United States, which has a larger and well-developed involvement of private entities in deliverance. Combining this research and utilising key concepts from the US context, we will further delve into existing policy structures and the resulting LGBT patient experiences. From the mischaracterisation of gay men during the global AIDS crisis or physicians incapable of understanding the health needs of transgender individuals, systemic attempts to train physicians or further expand knowledge have been limited by archaic legal and conceptual frameworks. This project aims to push beyond the boundaries of past research by focusing on the results of various stakeholders’ involvement and provide a multidisciplinary analysis.

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