Editorial the impact of differing cultural and ethnic backgrounds. It is reasonable to suggest that understanding these barriers is the beginning of removing them and paving the way for equal access to palliative care services for all. In addition, to ensure trust in palliative care delivery and provision, LGBTQ+ people will only have confidence in healthcare provision when they are included in service planning and design across central government, the NHS and palliative care settings. Alternatively, service providers and commissioners need to have an in-depth understanding of the different groups within the communities that they serve and ensure that the diverse range of members in the LGBTQ+ community are respected and heard.
Indeed, attempts to highlight or address the inequalities encountered by LGBTQ+ people are evidenced through numerous end-of-life policies, such as the End-of-Life Care Strategy (Department of Health, 2008). These policies need to be fully implemented across palliative care sectors, as healthcare professionals can always do more to proactively engage with and address the specific needs and issues of LGBTQ+ people. As with many challenges related to social and cultural differences, knowledge and education are central to our ability to understand and change attitudes and practice (Chidiac et al, 2021).
Finally My own experience of talking to LGBTQ+ people confirms a difficult reality: one that all healthcare professionals and those in palliative care should always remember. It is hard for LGBTQ+ people to ‘come out’, and discrimination and stigma are ‘driving them inwards again’; this cannot be right nor acceptable. Like any other minority group, LGBTQ+ people are not looking for special treatment; instead, they want to be treated equally. However, equality, does not mean giving everyone exactly the same thing if their needs are different. It is about giving everyone an option of their choice, and palliative care setting is well rehearsed in this practice. IJPN Acknowledgement: I would like to thank Claude Chidiac for providing critical review and some of the content for this editorial. Brian Nyatanga Senior Lecture; Senior Fellow, The Higher Education Academy (SFHEA); Consultant Editor, International Journal of Palliative Nursing; Adjunct Visiting Associate Senior Lecturer, Edith Cowan University JD, Australia Chidiac C, Grayson K, Almack K. Development and evaluation of an LGBT+ education programme for palliative care interdisciplinary teams. Palliative Care and Social Practice. 2021;15(1):1–10. http://doi.org/10.1177/ 26323524211051388 Department of Health. End of life care strategy promoting high-quality care for all adults at the end of life. 2008. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/ attachment data/file/136431/End_of_life_strategy.pdf (accessed 18 July 2022) Drescher J. Out of DSM: Depathologizing homosexuality. Behavioural Sciences (Basel).
2015;5(4):565–575. https://doi.org/10.3390%2Fbs5040565 Government Equalities Office. National LGBT Survey. 2018. https://assets.publishing.service.
gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/722314/GEO-LGBTSurvey-Report.pdf (accessed 31 July 2022) Office for National Statistics. People, population and community. 2021. https://www.ons.gov.
uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity (accessed 31 July 2022) Stonewall and YouGov. Unhealthy attitudes: the treatment of LGBT people within health and social care services. 2015. http://www.stonewall.org.uk/sites/default/files/ unhealthy_ attitudes.pdf (accessed 18 July 2022)
Call for papers
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International Journal of Palliative Nursing September 2022, Vol 28, No 9