LGBTQ+ Awareness


Is your practice LGBTQ+ friendly?

At the RGPAS Conference in 2016, we were delighted to invite Dr Thom O’Neill  (@fakethom) to give a presentation on ‘LGBT Youth in Rural Communities’. It sparked a lot of discussion and consideration about how rural health services could be made more accessible for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people. Thom presented some startling facts, particularly around the prevalence of mental health problems and accessibility of health services – and introduced many of us to the increasing evidence base about the challenges that LGBTQ+ young people experience when growing up in a rural area.


We have put this RGPAS information together to share some of the information from Thom’s talk, and stimulate thought about how we can make rural GP services more accessible to LGBTQ+ young people.  Please read through the factsheets, and consider displaying the posters in your surgery and working through the RGPAS Top Tips sections.


Many thanks to Thom, Kate and Angus who have worked hard to bring this information to fruition.

Dr David Hogg

Former Rural GP, Isle of Arran & Chair, RGPAS

Many thanks to Dr Thom O’Neill (Paediatric Research Fellow, Edinburgh) who has put in significant effort to make this information available, along with assistance from  Dr Angus MacTaggart (Islay GP) and Dr Kate Dawson (Benbecula GP).

We are interested in any feedback or suggestions for this guidance.  You can tweet us at @RuralGPScot or email

Photo credit for rainbow on Arran: jiihacxi (Creative Commons licence)

A word from Thom…

Thom would like to extend special thanks to Dr Ro Bevan and Dr Jessica Salkind who he works with to improve LGBTQ+ Healthcare for young people across the UK, and who contributed to much of the current work in this area.

“Practice in rural areas has its own set of challenges and oftentimes healthcare is delivered primarily by rural GPs who do a whole range of really amazing things, and one of the things we’re trying to develop is a proper rural programme to support positive change.”


“It’s often the simple things around communication and making a welcoming environment, but there are some specific things that rural GPs could really target. It feels like there is a very positive attitude towards improving practice in this area.”

What led to these guidelines being developed?

A few months after these guidelines were published, Thom and David met up to record this podcast to chat through some of the issues raised by Thom’s talk and the subsequent guidelines.  It’s a 50 minute podcast, but we try to cover some of the ‘frequent questions’ around LGBTQ+ health care, and why RGPAS have been keen to develop material in this topic area.


to stimulate improved practice in your surgery


to use in your surgery or workplace


to enable great practice and better understanding

LGBT Youth Mental Health

(Thom O’Neill)

Be a SuperDoc for LGBT Youth 

(Thom O’Neill)

“Silence Helps Homophobia”

(LGBT Youth Scotland)

LGBT Youth Homelessness

(Ted Talks)

LGBT Youth & Mental Health 

(UNESCO Child & Family Research Centre)

Rural issues for LGBTQ+ Youth

(East Kent LGBTQ Youth Summit)


to consider in your practice..