The Health News United Kingdom October 17 2017

  • Under new NHS guidelines, health professionals in England are to be told to ask patients aged 16 or over about their sexual orientation. NHS England recommends health professionals – such as general GPs and nurses – ask about a person’s sexual orientation at “every face to face contact with the patient, where no record of this data already exists”.
  • Gay rights campaigners have backed an NHS policy demanding that doctors and nurses start asking all patients from the age of 16 about their sexual orientation. NHS England argues that the data is needed to ensure it meets its obligations under the 2010 Equality Act and will help it better tackle health problems that are more prevalent among lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
  • A new survey has revealed that heavy periods are causing millions of women to take time off work. Accounting for 5,581,186 sick days each year, the condition is costing the British economy £531m. 1 in 5 women suffer from heavy periods however, seventy three per cent admit to lying to their bosses when one causes them to take a sick day.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 17th of  October 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-41625402

Under new NHS guidelines, health professionals in England are to be told to ask patients aged sixteen or over about their sexual orientation. NHS England said no-one would be forced to answer the question but recording the data would ensure that “no patient is discriminated against”.The guidance applies to doctors and nurses, as well as local councils responsible for adult social care. A spokeswoman said: “It will have no impact on the care people receive.”
She added: “All health bodies and local authorities with responsibility for adult social care are required under the Equality Act to ensure that no patient is discriminated against.”
She said the information would help NHS bodies comply with equality legislation by “consistently collecting, only where relevant, personal details of patients such as race, sex and sexual orientation.”

NHS England recommends health professionals – such as general practitioners and nurses – ask about a person’s sexual orientation at “every face to face contact with the patient, where no record of this data already exists”.But the Family Doctor Association said it was “potentially intrusive and offensive” for GPs to monitor people’s sexuality. Chairman Doctor Peter Swinyard told the BBC that for older patients in particular, sexuality “doesn’t affect health outcomes or care”. He said that GPs tend to know patients’ sexuality, or would ask, if it was relevant to their medical condition. For example, patients at a sexual health clinic are likely to be asked, but not those attending a wart clinic. He added: “Given the precious short amount of time a GP has with a patient, sexuality is not relevant.” NHS England said the data was already being collected in many areas but that the new guidance makes it standard, and that it expects sexual orientation monitoring to be in place across England by April two thousand nineteen.

NHS England said lesbian, gay and bisexual people were “disproportionately affected” by health inequalities such as poor mental health and a higher risk of self-harm and suicide. It said public bodies had a legal obligation to pay regard to the needs of LGB people under the Equality Act two thousand ten. If a patient does not want to disclose their sexuality, “not stated” would be recorded as their response.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/oct/15/patients-in-england-to-be-quizzed-over-their-sexuality

Gay rights campaigners have backed an NHS policy demanding that doctors and nurses start asking all patients from the age of sixteen about their sexual orientation.

NHS England has issued a new standard requiring staff to “record sexual orientation at every face to face contact with the patient, where no record of this data already exists”. It argues that the data is needed to ensure it meets its obligations under the two thousand ten Equality Act and will help it better tackle health problems that are more prevalent among lesbian, gay and bisexual people. These include sexually transmitted diseases, mental health problems, alcohol and drug dependency and social isolation in old age.

The policy does not include monitoring gender or gender identity, such as transgender. Instead, GPs, nurses and other health and adult social care staff are being told to ask: “Which of the following options best describes how you think of yourself?” The options are heterosexual or straight, gay or lesbian, bisexual, other, and don’t know or not sure. Other can include asexual or “queer”, a term the NHS says defines “a complex set of sexual behaviours and desires, or to make a statement against categories such as lesbian, gay, bisexual or straight”. If patients decline to answer that will also be recorded.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/heavy-periods-sick-days-five-million-uk-economy-menorrhagia-a8000131.html

A new survey has revealed that heavy periods are causing millions of women to take time off work.  Accounting for five million five hundred eighty one thousand one hundred eighty six sick days each year, the condition is costing the British economy five hundred thirty one million pounds. One in five women suffer from heavy periods however, seventy three per cent admit to lying to their bosses when one causes them to take a sick day. The research was commissioned by Wear White Again as part of their “Am I Number five?” campaign, which aims to tackle the stigma attached to heavy periods which affect more than four  million women in the UK.

Almost half or forty four per cent of the women surveyed confessed that they’d rather cite diarrhoea as the cause when taking a period-related sick day. This could be due to the fact that many women or sixty two percent aren’t even aware that heavy periods are a serious medical condition, known as menorrhagia. The research found that heavy menstrual bleeding can provoke a number of unpleasant physical and mental side effects.  In addition to severe abdominal pain and extended periods of bleeding, women suffering from menorrhagia may experience fevers, anxiety and depression. Plus, eighty six percent of those surveyed admitted to bleeding through their clothing – not exactly what you might deem an office-friendly situation. More than half or fifty eight percent claim that heavy periods have made them unable to carry out their daily routine and almost a third or thirty percent have had to stop engaging in various hobbies for the duration of their period. The worrying thing is that forty nine percent of participants believe that heavy periods of  are “just part of being a woman” and wouldn’t necessarily even consider visiting their general practitioner. “Too many women suffer in silence with what are regarded as taboo issues,”  said Tina Weaver, CEO at Wellbeing of Women, who are working alongside Wear White Again and Endometriosis UK on the campaign.

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