One in 10 health and social care workers have witnessed colleague declare belief in a 'gay cure', survey finds

LGBT charity Stonewall calls on the government to publicly condemn 'gay cure' therapy and take greater steps to ensure the practice is unavailable

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One in 10 health and social care workers say they have witnessed a fellow worker expressing their belief in the ability to "cure" lesbians, gays and bisexuals, according to a YouGov survey conducted for the LGBT charity Stonewall.

The research polled 3,001 health and social care workers directly involved in patient care. 10 per cent of workers said a colleague had vocalised belief in a "gay cure"; 22 per cent had heard such beliefs expressed in London alone.

60 per cent of those who had heard discriminatory remarks towards LGBT individuals did not report the incident, while 26 per cent of LGBT care workers said they had experienced homophobic or biphobic bullying from colleagues in the last five years.

The survey found that 20 per cent of staff also heard colleagues use works such as "tranny" and "she-male" when discussing trans people. On respondent said that managers wave away such language by stating that "it is only banter".

Stonewall point out that public bodies must legally advance equality and end discrimination, and yet staff interviewed by YouGov said they had received either little or no equality and diversity training.

Nearly three quarters of patient-facing staff have not received training on the health needs of LGB individuals, the rights of those in same-sex partnerships or how to use language that is inclusive for the LGBT community, while 28 per cent of doctors admit they do not feel confident responding to the needs of the trans community.

Responding to the findings, Stonewall Chief Executive Ruth Hunt said: "There are worrying gaps in knowledge and training relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people. This is creating a healthcare system that treats both its LGBT patients and colleagues unfairly leading to inevitable on-going health inequalities."

"We are releasing this research to highlight the importance of investing in and committing to LGBT equality."

Stonewall is now calling on the government to publicly condemn "gay cure" therapy and take greater steps to ensure the practice is unavailable in the UK.