Monitoring Sexual Orientation, Gender and Trans Status

Over the last two decades, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) community has seen legislative change which has led to greater acceptance. However, there is still a huge lack of evidence about LGBT people, our needs and experiences. Monitoring sexual orientation, gender identity and trans status is a proven way to address that lack of evidence. Championing sexual orientation and trans statis monitoring for service users and staff across all public services is a key an organisational priority for LGBT Foundation. You can read more about our recommended approach and download our guidance to implementing monitoring here. 

Sexual Orientation Monitoring

Working in partnership with NHS North West we published a best practice guide to monitoring, Everything you always wanted to know about sexual orientation monitoring... but were afraid to ask.

SOM guide wide


Released/updated: 2011

Our guide to implementing Sexual Orientation Monitoring in your workplace.

Everything you always wanted to know about sexual orientation monitoring... but were afraid to ask, aims to encourage public sector organisations to take the lead in implementing sexual orientation monitoring, by highlighting the benefits for organisations, staff and service users.

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The first of its kind, this guide aims to encourage public sector organisations to take the lead in implementing sexual orientation monitoring, by highlighting the benefits for organisations, staff and service users. Based on research conducted in the NHS and the wider public sector, it offers a step-by-step guide to the process of sexual orientation monitoring, illustrated with best practice examples and real-life case studies.

Everything you always wanted to know about sexual orientation monitoring... but were afraid to ask, highlights that investing in equality makes good business sense, as understanding the needs of staff and service users leads to more targeted and successful work, saving money in the long run.

Download a PDF of the guide to sexual orientation monitoring.

Trans Status Monitoring

LGBT Foundation supports monitoring trans* status as there is a significant lack of evidence about the needs and experiences of trans people. We believe that monitoring, sensitively implemented, is a clear way to address that lack of evidence and make our needs and experiences heard. Not counting trans people as part of wider equalities monitoring suggests that trans people’s needs don’t count, and we want to contest that. 

Download a PDF of our briefing sheet on trans status monitoring.

We are developing fuller best practice guidance on successfully implementing trans status monitoring which will be based on up to date evidence and community consultation. In the meantime, please contact research@lgbt.foundation for futher information. 

*Trans is an umbrella and inclusive term used to describe people whose gender identity differs in some way from that which they were assigned at birth; including non-binary people, cross dressers and those who partially or incompletely identify with their sex assigned at birth.

Clinical Rationale for Monitoring

Building Health Partnerships (2013-14) was a national programme designed by NHS England to improve health outcomes through supporting the development of partnerships. In Greater Manchester, we worked with Clinical Commissioning Groups and other voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations to focus on the health inequalities faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people, exploring the challenges encountered and working in partnership to identify solutions and reduce barriers for LGBT people accessing healthcare services.

As part of the project, we published a Clinical Rationale for Sexual Orientation Monitoring, written by Dr Simon Rogers. This discusses the evidence on existing health inequalities among LGB communities and attitudes towards patient sexual orientation monitoring in a general practice setting among staff at South Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group.

We also published a Rationale for Implementing Service User Sexual Orientation Monitoring in Service Provision which outlines the benefits of monitoring and the potential uses of the data collected to improve service user outcomes and reduce inequalities.

Both these reports, and the other publications from the project, can be downloaded from lgbt.foundation/bhp.