Inclusivity ‘shines out’ as hospital staff sign up to NHS Rainbow Badge scheme

Staff across Lincolnshire’s hospitals are pledging their support to the LGBT+ community, by signing up to the NHS Rainbow Badge initiative.

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By wearing an eye-catching rainbow-coloured NHS pin badge, staff at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) can show that they offer open, non-judgemental and inclusive care for patients and their families, who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or however they choose to define themselves.

Around 700 Trust staff have already signed up for a Rainbow Badge and the scheme has now been fully supported by the ULHT Board, who made a public pledge to support the LGBT+ community at their latest meeting.

ULHT’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead, Tim Couchman, said he was delighted by the response from staff.

“It’s been great to see so many of staff supporting the Rainbow Badges. The energy and enthusiasm from everyone has been really inspiring,” said Tim.

“Wearing a badge is a positive and discreet way for staff within the Trust to demonstrate that they are aware of the challenges that LGBT+ people may face when accessing healthcare and show their commitment to be welcoming and supportive of the LGBT+ community.

“By choosing to wear a Rainbow Badge, you are sending a message that ‘you can talk to me’. You aren’t expected to have the answers to all issues and concerns but you are a friendly ear, and will know how to signpost to the support available.

“We want to promote ULHT as an inclusive workplace where staff can be themselves and we champion LGBT+ equality within the Trust by ensuring the needs of LGBT+ patients, service users and staff are met.”

NHS Rainbow Badges originated at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, to make a positive difference by promoting a message of inclusion.

Any member of ULHT staff can sign up to wear one, by making a personal pledge and answering the following question: I would like to wear a badge because…?

Paul Matthew, ULHT’s Director of Finance and Digital and executive sponsor of the Trust’s LGBT+ Equality Staff Network said: “I’m very proud of the way our Trust has embraced this initiative, it shows what inclusive, caring and compassionate staff we have.”