Gavin Crymble, Expert by Experience

I was delighted to be offered the chance to help out on the Care Quality Commission exhibition stand at Brighton Pride this year.

As well as being a family carer for someone with Alzheimer’s, another of my qualifying experiences for being an Expert by Experience is that I am long term HIV which requires regular hospital outpatient visits. This year I turned 60 years old and I am one of the first generation of people growing old with HIV.

There is a certain amount of fear and apprehension amongst my peers about what this might entail. If we need to access care services, either in the community or in a residential setting, will we have to go back into the closet?

“I am delighted that CQC are stepping up to the mark and reaching out at public events such as Pride.”

Currently there are very few lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people living in residential care homes who openly identify as such; the men among them are of a generation that was criminalised for most of their lives. However there is another generation coming along! A huge wave of men and women who have lived most of their adult lives being out and their future care needs will need to be accommodated without discrimination. The Equality Act 2010 provides legal protections and as the regulator of care services it falls to CQC to take the lead.

Gavin Crymble, Expert by Experience