Sep 03, 2019
Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals and community services are making headway to ensure that everyone working or being cared for at the Trust is treated without discrimination.
Using funding from generous donations, we’re supporting the Trust to back initiatives to improve staff and patient welfare in line with the three main pillars of its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy: to provide inclusive healthcare, promise an inclusive workplace and pledge to workplace equality.
Renewed momentum comes as greater attention is paid to discrimination directed at lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT+) staff and patients. Stonewall data published November 2018 found that one in seven LGBT+ people have avoided medical treatment for fear of discrimination, and almost one in four have witnessed discriminatory or negative remarks against LGBT+ people by healthcare staff.
Launched in 2007, the LGBT+ Forum at the Trust is one of the main vehicles to drive new commitments forward, raise the profile of LGBT+ staff and provide guidance for positive change.
Ahead of London Pride on 6 July 2019, the iconic parade that united over 1.5 million people to celebrate equality and diversity, the Forum hosted a first-of-its-kind event to build excitement in the lead up to the celebration, and stronger connections among Trust staff and local partners. With a rainbow flag hoisted high on top of St Thomas’, it brought together attendees including from NHS England, the Metropolitan Police and Lambeth Council under one roof.
“It was a great chance to celebrate the contribution that everyone of all backgrounds make to the LGBT+ community,” said Jayne King, Head of Security at the Trust and co-Chair of the LGBT+ Forum. “People were incredibly engaged because as a Trust we’re doing something different.”
This year, the Forum established a planning committee for Pride to ensure the Trust stood centre-stage at the event; bringing together over 100 Forum members to take to the streets. Charitable funding helped support an idea set to send a strong message and turn heads – a bespoke, giant inflatable rainbow badge that the Forum members marched beneath.
The inflatable float, which painted the skyline multi-coloured, was inspired by the rainbow badges piloted at Evelina London which have recently spread to many other parts of the NHS. It brought attention to not just the Rainbow Badge initiative but to the whole of the NHS.
“The use of the inflatable float was amazing on multiple levels”, said Dr Michael Farquhar, who helped pilot the NHS Rainbow Badge at Evelina London. “People responded to both the symbol of the badge itself, but also to the whole idea of the NHS. The cheers we got as we came into view were phenomenal.”
The Rainbow Badge initiative, whose simple objective is to make a positive difference by promoting a message of inclusion, has gone from strength to strength over the past months. Following its successful introduction in Evelina London, the Forum led the roll-out of over 4,000 badges across the Trust and community sites; making up one in four of all staff. The badges and supporting resources have now been implemented or are set to be launched in more than half of all acute trusts in England, as well as GP surgeries and nation-wide NHS organisations.
“It was a really proud moment for us when NHS England featured the rainbow badges as an example of showing how much the LGBT+ community is valued,” commented Jessica Law, Senior Communications Manager at Evelina London, who supported the initiative and its launch. “To have endorsement at a national level has enabled the initiative and the all-important message of inclusion to spread even further than we imagined.”
Dr Farquhar, alongside others behind the roll-out, are now working to harness the commitment and enthusiasm around the badge to be a part of comprehensive, long-term solutions to tackle health inequalities in the NHS.
Looking ahead, we’re supporting the Forum to put their best foot forward in the Stonewall Diversity Champions scheme to earn the Trust a place as leaders in ensuring all LGBT+ staff in the workplace. The scheme will not only open access to a wealth of support and research, allowing the Trust to benchmark themselves against the best employers, but enable the Forum to identify areas for improvement.
We have funding from generous donations available exclusively to help staff at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust drive improvements to patient and staff welfare. If you’ve got an idea, find out how you can apply for funding and make it a reality.
13 August, 2019
Several ambitious Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust colleagues and teams battled it out in a pitching task to secure funding for their ideas to improve services for patients.
04 March, 2019
Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and community services have introduced NHS rainbow badges for staff, signalling the hospitals as open, non-judgemental and inclusive places for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) patients.
01 November, 2018
The Emergency Department at St Thomas’ Hospital, which sees around 150,000 attendances per year, has been officially opened this week by HRH The Princess Royal after being completely rebuilt.