Your Questions Around Sexual Orientation Monitoring Answered

Published: 18 October 2017 Tags: monitoring, nhs, sexual orientation By John Walding

LGBT Foundation has played a key role in the recent publication of an Information Standard for monitoring sexual orientation, something that we genuinely see as a game changer in ensuring that health and social care providers can better meet the needs of lesbian, gay and bisexual people across England.


The launch of the Information Standard has recently attracted a lot of media attention. We’ve also received a number of queries from members of our communities and some healthcare professionals. As one of the Information Standard’s key advocates, we thought it was important to help answer the questions and concerns that you’ve raised over the last few days.

Will I be asked about my sexual orientation every time I access health care?

You won’t be asked your sexual orientation every time you access health care. When you are asked, it will be at the same time as being asked other demographic information you are used to seeing on a form, such as your age or ethnicity.

Is it compulsory to answer the sexual orientation monitoring questions?

You can always not answer. In the same way, you can leave a question about your ethnicity blank, you can do the same with this question. It’s important to remember that once you have provided an answer, this information may be stored on your patient record or file.

If I choose not to answer the question will I be outing myself as LGB?

By opting out of the question, you are not outing yourself as lesbian, gay or bisexual. There are lots of reasons for people leaving it blank.

Will my confidential data be safe?

Your data will always be kept confidential, and stored securely.

Will the information I give sold to a third party?
The NHS never sells on patient data.

If we’re not counted, we don’t count, and we firmly believe that sexual orientation monitoring can ensure equal access to services and lead to improved services that better meet the needs of lesbian, gay and bisexual; people. It can also go a long way towards creating a culture of inclusivity and openness within health and care services.

We see this as a hugely important step towards addressing the health inequalities our communities face but if you have any further questions you would like to ask please do get in touch at info@lgbt.foundation

Also, you can find out more information on the sexual orientation monitoring standard here.