NHS backtracks after “drafting error” sees LGBTQ+ staff classed as disabled

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The ‘NHS: People Plan’ document, a list of goals for improving the workplace for employees over the coming year, has come under fire for seemingly classing LGBTQ+ staff as disabled.

As first reported by the Metro, readers noticed an issue – that NHS England chief people officer, Prerana Issar, has labelled a “drafting error” – in which the document seemed to refer to the NHS’ LGBTQ+ staff as having a disability.

Until it was updated yesterday, the document initially read: “The Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) has begun to shine a light on the difficulties that colleagues with disabilities and long-term health conditions face.

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“But there remain challenges. For example, we know that the majority of staff who identify as LGBTQ+ do not feel confident enough to report their sexuality on their employment record.”

It was quickly updated to include the following sentence between the previous two paragraphs: “Other staff groups also face significant challenges.”

While NHS chief people officer Issar expressed her “regret [at] any upset or misunderstanding” over the incident, those in the LGBTQ+ took to Twitter to express their distaste.

One (@RachHend) wrote: “This is offensive to both the LGBTQ+ and disabled communities.”

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Sam Lewis

The author Sam Lewis

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