11 September 2023

Memory Assessment Service & LGBT Switchboard collaboration


Jamie Tulley

We are working with LGBT Switchboard to understand the needs of LGBTQ+ people in Brighton and Hove in relation to their memory problems and dementia care.

About this collaboration

We understand that every person we support has a unique experience and personalising our service is one of the important principles we work by. In Brighton and Hove we serve a diverse community and we want to ensure that everyone has an appropriate and affirmative experience of our service. We also understand that some people in society, such as LGBTQ+ people, have not had the same access or experiences with health services as others. There may be a legacy of poor experiences for LGBTQ+ people in Brighton and Hove.

We want to understand more. Our collaboration with the Switchboard is allowing us to listen to LGBTQ+ patient voices and explore the firsthand experiences of people with dementia and their loved ones. We’re doing this through a series of focus groups and conversations.

The purpose of this collaboration

Our intention with this collaboration is to:

  • Listen to LGBTQ+ patients and loved ones
  • Hear what is important
  • Understand more about what people are looking for from our service
  • Support personalisation of our offer to meet the needs
  • Avoid making assumptions
  • Consider what we hear and ensure that we can reflect needs in our interactions and support and the way we deliver our service

How we’re collaborating with LGBT Switchboard

John Hammond, CEO of the Brighton and Hove LGBT Switchboard talks about the ways that we are working together to improve our service.

Why we’re working with LGBT Switchboard

The Switchboard has been supporting people in Brighton and Hove since 1975. In recent years it has developed a support offering for older people, with a dementia service that specifically supports LGBTQ people, their loved ones and caregivers. This includes:

  • The Rainbow Cafe peer support group
  • Worthing Dementia Support Group
  • LGBTQ+ Carers Meetup
  • One-to-one support in person, by phone, or online
  • raining, advice and information on LGBTQ+ dementia for individuals, care givers, and organisations

In 2022, the Switchboard’s Dementia Support project won the ‘health equity’ award at the Royal Society for Public Health’s annual health and wellbeing awards. Learn more at the LGBT Switchboard website.

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