There is a lack of confidence among health and social care staff, including those most relevant health and social care practitioners with direct responsibility for patient care, in their ability to understand and meet the needs of LGBT patients and service users. The report ‘Unhealthy Attitudes’, which is mentioned in several contributions to this focus issue of the Journal of Research in Nursing (JRN), demonstrates that despite research showing that sexual orientation has an impact on both physical and mental health, services are not adequately meeting the needs of LGBT people. While many western liberal societies have passed significant equality legislation in recent years, it is still the case that heteronormative assumptions pervade social policy, serious gaps in provider knowledge and understanding remain, and harassment and bullying of LGBT patients and staff are not uncommon.
Lorraine Culley and Carol Haigh
Board Editorial: LGBT equality and nursing research
Journal of Research in Nursing May 2016 21: 155-158, doi:10.1177/1744987116646515