‘He’s a Gay, He’s Going to Go to Hell.': Negative Nurse Attitudes Towards LGBTQ People on a UK Hospital Ward: A Single Case Study Analysed in Regulatory Contexts

Sue Westwood*, Jemma James, Trish Hafford-Letchfield

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Downloads (Pure)


Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and/or queer (LGBTQ) people experience profound health and social care inequalities. Research suggests that staff with negative attitudes towards LGBTQ people, are more likely to hold strong, traditional, religious beliefs. This article reports on a single case study with a newly qualified UK nurse who has since left the National Health Service. This is based on a single interview taken from a larger dataset derived from a funded scoping research study exploring religious freedoms, sexual orientation and gender identity rights in older age care spaces. The interviewee described a toxic nursing culture on a hospital ward for older people. She recounted various incidents involving homophobic and transphobic practice and LGBTQ microaggressions which reportedly impacted the quality of nursing care. The findings are considered in relation to standards for anti-oppressive practice in nursing care, and how nursing students and staff can be supported in addressing practice relating to equality and diversity issues, specifically LGBTQ issues. They confirm the direct significance of addressing the needs and circumstances of LGBTQ people in nursing curricula and ongoing professional practice, and the need to further research, evaluate and progress translation of learning into improved quality care for diverse populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalEthics and Social Welfare
Early online date29 Jun 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jun 2023

Cite this