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Trust reaffirms commitment to supporting LGBT+ patients and staff

The Trust has relaunched its ‘rainbow badge’ initiative to mark Pride in the NHS week.

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, the main provider of mental health services across both county’s and community services in Worcestershire has relaunched its rainbow badge scheme, reaffirming its commitment to providing non-judgmental and inclusive support and care for all.

The NHS Rainbow Badge, which was started by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London in partnership with Evelina London Children’s Hospital, is a symbol of the NHS commitment to promoting inclusivity and reducing inequalities.

The pin badge includes the iconic NHS lozenge on the rainbow flag, which can be worn on NHS staff lanyards or on uniforms.

Its colours reflect both the immense diversity and the unity of the LGBT+ community.

Each member of staff that wears one is required to sign a pledge demonstrating their commitment to providing support and signposting to LGBT+ people, and open, non-judgmental care.

Sammie Boatema-Cooke, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead at the Trust said, “The rainbow badge is a powerful way of demonstrating our commitment to being inclusive and celebrating diversity across our Trust, not only to our patients but to our colleagues as well. If you see a member of our staff wearing the NHS rainbow badge, you can be confident in speaking to them about who you are, your identity and how you feel ”.

A survey performed by an LGBT+ charity estimated that 1 in 5 LGBT + people do not share their sexual orientation when seeking general medical care. It also found that 1 in 7 avoided treatment for fear of discrimination.

Graham Childs, Registered Nursing Associate and Chair of the Trusts LGBT+ Staff Network said, “Our staff wear their badges with pride, demonstrating their commitment to providing non-judgmental and inclusive care for all, regardless of how they identify. I encourage everyone to be proud of who they are, and not to hesitate about seeking help when they need it. The NHS is here for everyone.”

The Trust takes every opportunity to strengthen it's approach to equality and diversity in delivering the best patient care and employment to its staff.

Those wishing to find out more about the rainbow badge scheme are encouraged to visit the NHS Rainbow Badge Twitter account.

Useful resources

  • LGBT Switchboard – A helpline that provides an information, support and referral service for lesbians, gay men and bisexual and trans people – and anyone considering issues around their sexuality and/or gender identity.
  • LGBT Foundation – LGBT Foundation provide a wide range of support services to lesbian, gay, bi and trans people. They also work with healthcare and other professionals to help make public services more accessible and inclusive for LGBT communities.
  • NHS England Equalities and Health Inequalities Hub
  • Stonewall – Stonewall is an LGBT charity focussing on empowering individuals, transforming institutions, changing hearts and minds, and changing and protecting laws
  • Gendered Intelligence – Gendered Intelligence is a trans led charity who work with the trans community and those who impact on trans lives; they particularly specialise in supporting young trans people aged 8-25.
  • Opening doors – Opening Doors London (ODL) is the biggest charity providing information and support services specifically for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT+) people over 50 in the UK.

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