Supporting the UK Government bill to ban so-called conversion therapy

As part of our strong commitment to Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) the Medical School supports the Advance HE Athena Swan principles.

Warning: Our statement and the links included in it contain references to types of so-called conversion therapy practices that some people may find disturbing or upsetting.

This includes fostering collective understanding that individuals have the right to determine their own sexual and gender identity, and tackling specific issues faced by trans and non-binary people. To act on this we will support LGBTQ+ students and staff to study and work in an environment free of hate, discrimination, and harassment. 

You may be aware that the UK Government has been consulting on their proposed bill to ban so-called conversion therapy as a coercive and abhorrent practice that causes long-lasting damage to those who undergo it. As members of the Medical School’s Council (MSC) we fully  endorse their statement that such so-called therapies have no place in clinical practice and support the government’s bill to ban them.

So-called conversion therapies have been defined as:

i) Encompassing all medical, psychiatric, psychological, religious, cultural or any other interventions that seek to erase, repress or change the sexual orientation and/or gender identity of a person, including aversive therapies or any other procedure that involves an attempt to convert, cancel or suppress sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression. 

ii) Not including any practice that (a) assists a person who is undergoing a gender transition; or (b) assists a person who is considering undergoing a gender transition; or (c) assists a person to express their gender or sexual identity; or (d) provides acceptance, support and understanding of a person; or (e) facilitates a person’s coping skills, social support and identity exploration and development.

Within our Medical School, we continue to work to improve inclusion for our LGBTQ+ students and colleagues. This includes: 

  • Working with students and NHS colleagues to consider ways that enable people to safely share pronouns in the university and clinical environment if they wish. This follows a proposal from our Medical Students’ Representative Council and LGBTQ* Medics.
  • Developing an online module with staff and students to raise awareness of trans inclusion, including pronoun use, gender-inclusive language and allyship. This module has undergone multiple review phases and will be made available to all of our students and staff soon.
  • Considering how education on the healthcare of LGBTQ+ people can be improved as part of the Curriculum Redefined project.
  • Appointed Freedom to Speak Up Guardians, to enable students to speak up about experiences of harassment, including homophobia, biphobia, or transphobia.
  • Working as part of the MSC EDI Alliance, who are in the process of creating a work plan to highlight and address issues faced by LGBTQ+ medical students, staff, and patients. 

The School encourages students and staff to use wellbeing support if they need them.

Student support resources

Staff support resources


Professor Mark Kearney, Dean, School of Medicine

Professor Laura Stroud, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Medicine and Health

Professor Louise Bryant,  Faculty Deputy Dean for EDI

Alexander Flach and Jessica Burt, Co-Presidents, LGBTQ* Medics

Alexander Thornton, Vice-President, Medical Students’ Representative Council