Funded PhD LGBT End of Life Health and Social Care University of Lincoln, UK

‘Over the Hill’: Urban and Rural Health and Social Care for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Older People including End of Life Services 

The barriers to health and social care services in rural areas are problems of resources and also of barriers to the availability of speciality services (Smith & Mancoske, 1997).

Service providers have to compete with a set of circumstances that can result in fewer and/or more expensive health and social care services. These services are required to combat inequalities in health care provision leading to improved health, independence and higher quality of life for older residents. Urban areas are often thought of as having the exact opposite characteristics, particularly due to the supposed ‘ability’ of residents to access more services more often. Older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender service users at the end of their lives are rarely considered in these urban/rural debates in the literature. Many LGBT people do not feel that end of life care services are open to them and are concerned that they will face discrimination and a lack of understanding from health and social care providers when dying (Cartwright, Hughes, & Lienert, 2012). 

The proposed doctorate 

This doctorate will be an exploratory study which will involve consultations with service provider stakeholders and members of LGBT community organisations, including patient forums, and older LGBT people. The study will aim to identify the relevant medicolegal issues in relation to end-of- life care and advance care planning for urban and rural LGBT residents in Britain. The study will seek to identify issues that sets out the actual and perceived boundaries of medicolegal end-of-life care for LGBT people in both legally recognized and unrecognized relationships. 

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