On October 14 it was announced that starting from April 2019 medical staff will ask patients over the age of 16, to confirm if they are gay straight or bisexual for equality purposes.
The NHS published a document, which was posted on their organisations singular website, instructing staff to record patients’ answer to their sexuality during consultations.
KU students have shared their reactions to the policy.
Kiran Bhopal, a 21 year-old KU applied economics and business student, said he doesn’t mind being asked about his sexuality by his GP.
Bhopal said: “I personally don’t think a doctor asking about sexuality is an issue because GPs are there to help and advise patients,”
“Whatever you tell your doctor will be between you and your doctor and won’t leave the room because it’s private and confidential.”
However, Nate Caruso-Kelly, a 20 year-old KU law student and president of the LGBT+ society, has said that they would prefer not to disclose this personal information.
Caruso Kelly said: “It would be deeply offensive to me,”
“This information is not needed unless you are at the doctors for an issue of sexual health,”
“It’s intrusive and unnecessary.”
Caruso Kelly added: “For example a nurse at an STI test could ask and it would be necessary, I can’t imagine a situation other than that where it would be relevant information.”
The mixed reaction proposal has been imposed by the government and has been referred to as ‘intrusive’.
Medical professionals have been told to ask patients about their sexuality face-to-face.
Individual NHS trusts are reportedly deciding whether to opt out of the move which allows patients to decide whether they want to disclose their sexuality to their GP.
A statement showed that NHS England have refused to give details about how the highly personal information will be collected.
Patients will be left questioning which medical staff or staff in a doctor’s surgery will quiz them, whether it be a doctor, nurse or even the receptionist.
Noelle Fourie, 20 year-old KU history and politics student and media officer for the LGBT+ society, has suggested that the NHS want this information to ensure equality.
Fourie said: “Someone’s sexuality is more fluid and complex than gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual,”
“The only time that I think sexuality would be necessary would be in a sexual health context.”
NHS England have said patients will be asked: “Which of the following best describes how you think of yourself?”
Patients will be asked to answer with saying they are either straight, gay or lesbian, bisexual or other.