This is something we would expect to have happened a very, very long time ago considering such spectacular advances in gay rights in most of the United Kingdom but it appears that some NHS staff have still been pointing gay people in the direction of organisations offering gay conversion therapies.

NHS staff in England have been told that they should no longer help people access these gay conversion therapies because these so-called “gay cures” can obviously be “dangerous” and “damaging”.

The treatment isn’t officially offered directly through the NHS, but this hasn’t prevented GPs, counsellors and psychotherapists pointing patients in the right, or rather wrong, direction on occasion.

Fourteen organisations, including NHS England, have signed an agreement to stop gay conversion therapy being offered to patients.

The agreement, The Memorandum of Understanding on Conversion Therapy in the UK, makes it clear that NHS England, the organisation which has day-to-day responsibility for running the NHS, “does not endorse or support conversion therapy” and will make this clear to staff.

It essentially means GPs will not be able to refer patients for gay therapy and that no-one employed by the NHS can provide it.

Organisations to sign the Memorandum of Understanding

Association of Christian Counsellors
British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
British Psychoanalytic Council
British Psychological Society
Gay and Lesbian Association of Doctors and Dentists
Pink Therapy
Royal College of GPs
Royal College of Psychiatrists
National Counselling Society
NHS England
UK Council for Psychotherapy

They will also be providing training for staff to enable them to improve support available to lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people seeking advice.