The LGBT Community: Finding A Private Medical Clinic Responsive To Your Needs

This blog is written by our clinicians and aims to keep patients informed with up to date information on medical conditions. The editor of the blog is Dr Cristina Romete.

Over the years, we often consulted patients who have come to see us with various health problems who did not feel at ease disclosing their sexual orientation. We do not ask patients to fill in extensive forms, detailing everything from their sex, sexuality, religious beliefs and many more. We rely on good open medical practice and verbal communication.

Unless one belongs to the LGBT community, it takes an open minded, all rounded heterosexual clinician to consider and ask the right questions. Quite often, the LGBT community feels uneasy about disclosing their sexual orientation, out of fear of how the doctor may react, look at them, dismiss or avoid dealing with their issues or worse be ignorant of the particular health issues affecting the community.

Sexual Health

Not making assumptions and passing judgments on one’s sexuality is key to a good clinician. Questions on sexual practices and number of sexual partners may cause discomfort to the patient and questions should be handled with sensitivity. However this should not be at the risk of taking an inadequate history and appropriately assessing one’s health risk and health condition.

The doctor must be comfortable talking about sex. Must be comfortable to enquire about the sex and number of sexual partners, sex practices, anal sex, oral and genital sex, safe sex, length of relationships, past history of infections and HIV, drug use. These questions must be asked and patients must feel at ease in order to allow for appropriate sample collection and diagnosis.

Mental Health

Mental Health and wellbeing is of a particular concern of LGBT individuals.
Depression, Anxiety, alcohol and substance abuse, suicide are all more likely in an LGBT individual than in a heterosexual one.
Providing a responsive psychological support for the LGBT community often is a difficult journey for the patients, as they often do not fee adequately understood by a heterosexual therapist.
LGBT individuals are also more likely to be subjected to abuse and violence.
It is paramount therefore that a doctor is aware of these individual risk factors and that the language used is appropriate and respectful.

Preventative Healthcare

When talking about the health needs of the LGBT community, is not all about treating sexually transmitted infections and mental health issues.

It is paramount, that the LGBT individuals access a good annual preventative healthcare service, a service that takes into consideration their sexual orientation as well as their personal risk factors.

Often asking and planning for future pregnancies or the desire of having children is overlooked. How could an LGBT individual be best prepared for this? How can a good doctor support him or her in preparing for such a journey?

Emotional wellbeing, cardiovascular health, impact of substance misuse assessment, assessment of family risk factors all must be part of a preventative health check. ROC Private Clinic has been one of the first clinics in London to offer PrEP HIV Prophylaxis. Patients’ risk for contracting HIV should be assessed and PrEP should be offered if appropriate. Vaccination against Human Papilloma Virus should be offered along with Hepatitis vaccination.

In short, you must find a clinic and a doctor whom you trust, who understands you and your needs.

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Meet our experts

Cristina Romete

  • Qualifications: Msc. | MRCGP. | DOccMed. | DRCOG. | DFFP.
  • Location(s): London and Aberdeen
  • Clinical Interest(s): Complex Medical Conditions | Cardiovascular Disease | Preventative Medicine | Mental Health | Occupational Medicine | Alternative Medicine: Acupuncture.
  • BIO:

    Dr Romete is the founder of ROC Private Clinic and the registered manager for ROC Private Clinic with the Care Quality Commission. She is also member of the Royal College of General Practitioners and holds the Diploma of the Faculty of Family Planning, the Diploma of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecology and the Diploma of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine. She trained in Acupuncture between 2006-2008 with the British Medical Acupuncture Society at the Royal Homeopathic Hospital.

Nicola Harrison

  • Qualifications: BSc. | MBBS. | MRCGP. | DRCOG. | DFFP.
  • Location(s): London, Harley Street
  • Clinical Interest(s): Contraception and Sexual Health | Gynaecology | Dermatology | Child Health | Allergy | Weight Loss | Preventative Health Care
  • BIO:

    Dr Nicola Harrison is the Head of Clinical Governance of ROC London Clinic. She graduated from Guy's and St Thomas's Medical School, London in 2003. She also became a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners in 2007. She holds the Diploma of the Faculty of Family Planning and the Diploma of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecology. Dr Nicola Harrison runs our preventative health programmes and childhood immunisation programmes. She consults children and adults for allergy related disorders and she is the clinical lead at ROC for Allergy Assessments and testing.

Jane Jonhston

  • Qualifications: MBChB | MRCGP
  • Location(s): Aberdeen
  • Clinical Interest(s): Hormonal Health | Menopause | Breast Disease | Preventative Health Care.
  • BIO:

    Dr. Johnston is a renowned Women’s Health expert that joined the ROC Clinic Team in September 2016. She undertook post-graduate training from Queen Margaret’s University College. Since then, her extensive career has seen her contribute to the Women’s Health field, with specialisms in Breast Cancer and Menopause over a combined 30 years. As Associate Specialist in Women’s Health for the Aberdeen Breast Screening Unit, Dr. Johnston achieved above national average accuracy targets for breast biopsies.

Alison Caroll

  • Qualifications: MBChB | Certificate in Occupational Medicine
  • Location(s): Aberdeen
  • Clinical Interest(s): General Medicine | Occupational Health | Travel Health | Remote and Offshore Health | Psychiatry | Neurology | Respiratory Medicine | Gastroenterology.
  • BIO:

    Dr Alison Carroll brings a wealth of experience to the ROC Private Clinic Team, from psychiatry to emergency medicine and remote healthcare environments. Having initially trained as a General Practitioner, Dr Alison Carroll then pursued a career in Psychiatry. She was able to reflect all these skills and knowledge in her subsequent roles as company doctor for many of the Aberdeen’s businesses. Dr Alison Carroll is dedicated to training medical personnel and is an American Heart Association Approved Trainer.

Claire Macangus

  • Qualifications: BA Midwifery
  • Location(s): Aberdeen
  • Clinical Interest(s): Health Promotion and Screenin | Antenatal Care | Postnatal Wellbeing | Feeding Issues
  • BIO:

    Claire MacAngus is a seasoned practitioner with extensive experience in the field of midwifery. She qualified in at Napier University, Edinburgh in 2004, and over the years undertook further training in advanced life support, neonatal resuscitation, and ultrasonography. Her main experience lies in caring for high-risk women during the antenatal and postnatal period and delivering intrapartum care to low-risk women. As an assistant practitioner, Claire undertakes various investigations, blood tests, ear syringing and vaccinations for both children and adults.

Sam Al-Jafari

  • Qualifications: BSc(Hons) | MBChB | MRCS | MRCGP | DFFP | DPD
  • Location(s): London, Harley Street
  • Clinical Interest(s): Musculoskeletal and Sports Medicine | Joint Injections | Skin Disorders | Minor Surgery | Botox | Dermal Fillers Men's Health | Sexual Health
  • BIO:

    Dr Sam Al-Jafari graduated from the University of Manchester in 2002 obtaining a first class degree BSc in Medical Ethics and Law in addition to his Medical degree. Dr Al-Jafari pursued a career in General Surgery and, after undertaking additional training in Orthopaedics, Vascular Surgery and Urology he was accepted as a member of The Royal College of Surgeons in 2006. The set of skills acquired during this period proved invaluable for his work in Minor Surgery, Aesthetics and Musculoskeletal medicine. In 2009, he was also accepted as a member of The Royal College of General Practitioners.

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