The British Journal of General Practice has urged the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) to display LGBT rainbow flags in waiting rooms.
Displaying the rainbow flag could “make patients feel more comfortable,” according to Pink News, who reported that, “The British Journal of General Practice has published guidelines to urge more than 50,000 doctors and medical researchers to put Pride flags in the waiting rooms of their practices. ”
“The aim is to encourage individuals to be open with their doctors about their sexuality and feel comfortable talking about any health issues,” Pink News expressed, citing the guidelines that claimed there are “some changes that are easily implemented and inexpensive, including displaying signs or symbols that convey an accepting atmosphere, such as a rainbow symbol or the Human Rights Campaign logo.”
The British Journal of General Practice’s guidelines also advised GPs to “avoid using heteronormative phrases, and to make sure they don’t assume the gender of a patient’s partner or partners.”
“We want all patients to feel welcome,” declared the Royal College of GPs’ Professor Kamila Hawthorne. “If surgeries find that displaying a rainbow symbol in their practice encourages LGBT patients to seek medical attention when they need it, then that’s a good thing… Patients should never be made to feel as though they have to disclose their sexual orientation to their GP if they don’t want to.”
“But at the same time, they should be reassured that anything they discuss with their GP is strictly confidential and that the consultation room is safe space to talk about things which could be affecting their health and wellbeing,” she continued.