Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust has been named the most gay-friendly healthcare organisation in England by Stonewall.

The second annual Healthcare Equality Index by the gay rights charity places Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust second on the list and St Andrew’s Healthcare third.

The Healthcare Equality Index is a tool for health providers to benchmark and track their progress on equality.

Forty four healthcare organisations entered the Index, providing services across all regions of England. Organisations were assessed against criteria including patient policy and practice, engagement and communication with gay people, improving the health of gay patients and staff training on gay health needs.

Stonewall Head of Policy, James Taylor, said: “Congratulations to every healthcare organisation that secured a place in the Top 10; standards have significantly increased since the 2013 Index. Our ground-breaking research consistently shows that many lesbian, gay and bisexual people still experience and expect poor health outcomes and treatment when they use the NHS. Every organisation that entered helps tackle health inequalities and deliver a 21st century health service accessible to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation.”

CNWL Chief Executive Claire Murdoch said: “We are deeply committed to providing compassionate, respectful and expert care to all who receive our services.  But this is easy to say and hard to achieve. We have much work still to do but you can be sure that we will continue to work with our staff and above all our service users to ensure we treat every individual with the respect and expertise they are due.”

Improving health outcomes for LGBT patients remains a key challenge. Recent research shows too many clinicians are failing to offer HIV tests to most at risk populations.