"GP practice non-compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty"

About: Devon PCT Plymouth Teaching PCT Torbay Care Trust

(as the patient),

I have an ongoing complaint against my GP practice in South West England.

I am from a protected characteristic group and have suffered a great deal of discriminative actions by GP practices over the years. When this happens I tend to run from the practice and go elsewhere. However I am at the stage where I have exhausted all the practices within my catchment area and now have no choice but to stand and fight. I am still suffering, but am absolutely determined to force, if I have to, GPs to comply and be properly aware of the most vulnerable groups in our society needs - those from protected characteristic groups - Age, Disability, Gender Reassignment, Marriage and Civil Partnership, Pregnancy and Maternity, Race, Religion and Belief, Sex, and Sexuality.

To date the attitude I have had from my practice is total disinterest, feigned ignorance and a "poor little us" attitude. I complained to my cluster, they handled the complaint, (twice), so badly that PHSO (the Ombudsman) had to intervene prematurely! It is now with PHSO where, I hope, common sense, and dignity and respect, will prevail.

It may come as a shock to GPs that they, as sub-contractors of the NHS, have to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED). Many choose not only to be ignorant of this duty but use ignorance as an excuse to continue to be discriminative towards patients. There is NO excuse for discrimination and they, as much as every other employee of the NHS, have a duty of care to all service users.

I am sure there will be other people from protected characteristic groups reading this. I know it's easy for you to run, but how long can you keep running?

Please help me and push for GPs to be educated in PSED, so others don't have to endure the distress that I, and maybe you, have had to endure!

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