The closing date for submissions was Monday 19 April 2021. Applications are currently being processed. 

The AHSN Network and LGBT Foundation have joined forces to launch a nationwide call for innovations to help address health inequalities facing lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people, many of which have been exacerbated by COVID-19.

These challenges are highlighted in our new compilation of evidence of LGBT+ health inequalities.

From MedTech and digital apps to improvement programmes, changes in practice and new pathways, we are looking for innovations and innovative approaches already in use or in development.

Ground-breaking and inspiring examples of work in this area will be showcased in a report to be published later this year by the AHSN Network and LGBT Foundation, which we hope will support best practice to be spread more widely across health and care services.

The case for change

The LGBT+ community are disproportionately affected by both ill health and social pressures. These inequalities are explored in our comprehensive compilation of evidence, which makes for difficult reading.

This builds on previous work by LGBT Foundation and their follow-up report showing how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting LGBT+ people more acutely.

Themes in our evidence review include:
• Poor mental health
• Fertility and parenting
• Services for young people
• Services for older people
• Intersectionality – the combined impact of being LGBT+ and disabled, Black, Asian or from a minority ethnic community
• Alcohol, smoking and drug use
• Physical health and long term conditions
• Sexual health
• Barriers to access healthcare services.

In addition, the Health and Care LGBTQ+ Leaders Network published in February 2021 an excellent series of recommendations to help healthcare leaders, service designers and commissioners ensure their services and workplaces meet the needs of the LGBTQ+ population.

We are keen to build on this work by finding innovations and new ways of delivering services that have the potential to make a real difference in the lives of LGBT+ people across the country.

Read these blogs to find out more:
• ‘LGBTQ+ health inequalities and changing the game’ by Richard Stubbs, Chair of the AHSN Network’s Equality and Diversity Group
‘LGBT+ history month: Claiming our past. Celebrating our present. Creating our future’ by Elias Zapantis, Technology Evaluation Lead, UCLPartners
‘Health innovation and the LGBT+ experience’ by Michael Goodeve, Assistant Director of Communications, Wessex AHSN.

How to submit your innovation

If you’d like to share your innovation, please complete this short online form. You’ll be asked how your work specifically addresses LGBT+ health inequalities, so please do read through our compilation of evidence before completing the form.

The closing date for submissions was Monday 19 April 2021.

If you have any questions about our call for innovations or the submission process, please email info@ahsnnetwork.com.

A member of our team will be in touch if we need any more information.

What kind of innovations are we looking for?

Just as the health and care challenges facing LGBT+ people are varied, so too will be the innovations and innovative approaches that might help tackle these.

Our aim is to cast the net as widely as possible. So whether your background is in health and care, research and academia, industry, or the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector, if you’re leading exemplary work in this area that might be adopted elsewhere – then we want to hear from you!

The kinds of innovations we’re keen to hear about include medical technologies and devices, digital health (such as apps and platforms), new or improved services, processes, pathways and models of care, and training and education programmes.

But of course, we don’t know what we don’t know. So if you have an innovative solution that doesn’t fit one of those labels, please do get in touch and tell us more.

The AHSN Network’s Diversity Pledges

In September 2019, the AHSN Network signed up to a series of pledges, demonstration our national commitment to the diversity and inclusion agenda.

Find out more, and read our first report celebrating Black, Asian and minority ethnic innovators working in healthcare.