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Route to Success: Achieving Quality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People
  1. Bridget Moss,
  2. Claire Henry,
  3. Tes Smith
  1. Bridget Moss is Education Director, St Helena Hospice, Colchester, Claire Henry is National Director and Tes Smith was Former Social Care Lead, National End of Life Care Programme, Leicester (Tes Smith is now Social Care Programme Manager, Macmillan Cancer Support)

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Introduction

In the UK, accurate numbers of people who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) are hard to establish. Official figures vary between 750,000 (Office for National Statistics, 2010) and 3.6 million (Parliament UK, 2009). In 2009, the number of people who had sought gender reassignment treatment was estimated at 12,500, with the expectation that this figure will grow as more transgender people feel able to seek increasingly available support (Reed et al, 2009).

The route to success

LGBT people are at risk of not receiving high-quality end-of-life care services, with many facing problems in terms of being treated with dignity and respect. Having a LGBT identity can sometimes directly impact on the experience of end-of-life care (Almack, 2007). The National End of Life Care Programme has therefore developed a new ‘route to success’ publication, following consultation with stakeholders at a series of discussion groups held around the country. The Route to Success in End of Life Care — Achieving Quality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People (National End of Life Care Programme, 2012) offers guidance and advice for those working with LGBT people, and for LGBT people themselves, whether giving or receiving end-of-life care. The guide aims to:

  • ▶▶ Encourage LGBT people to be confident in being open about their relationships and needs

  • ▶▶ Guide organisations and people within them to have an LGBT-friendly culture

  • ▶▶ Highlight constructive key messages for everyone to act upon.

Following the six steps of the End of Life Care Pathway (Table 1), each section in the ‘route to success’ document identifies issues to consider and links them to practitioner and staff roles. Case studies are used to highlight good practice and key recommendations for future practice are included.

View this table:
Table 1

The End of Life Care Pathway

Strategy and research

The equality impact assessment of the End of Life …

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