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Home » Leading children’s hospital launches NHS rainbow badges

Leading children’s hospital launches NHS rainbow badges

Stonewall’s recent survey found that 17% of LGBT people avoid medical treatment because of fear of discrimination, and 23% of LGBT people have seen healthcare staff make discriminatory comments or remarks about LGBT people. It also coincides this February with LGBT history month.
The badge features the NHS logo superimposed over the rainbow pride flag. It can be worn on NHS rainbow clothing, or on lanyards. They are an indication that you can talk to someone about sexuality and gender identity issues and they promote inclusion.

Employees who sign up to wear the badge will be provided information about the issues LGBT+ people face when accessing healthcare. They also have the opportunity to learn what support they can get.

The hospital has also prepared a toolkit for other NHS organisations that can be used to help them implement the scheme. The scheme has been approved by more than 100 GP surgeries and clinical commissioning group members across the country.

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock has backed the project as well as Dr Ranj (ex-Evelina London paediatrician) and Strictly Come Dancing star.

Dr Ranj stated: “Young LGBT+ persons face greater complexity and greater challenges than their peers, especially in healthcare. As health professionals, we have a responsibility to ensure their wellbeing. This means that we must provide a safe environment for them, where they can feel secure, valued, and protected, especially when they need it.

“Small gestures of kindness like this make a huge difference to people who are most in need. I am so proud to have been able to contribute to the Trust’s culture and values. Let’s do this across the entire NHS!

Dr Michael Farquhar of Evelina London is the leader of the NHS rainbow-badge initiative and a consultant in sleep medicine.

“We are proud to have a NHS Rainbow badge on Evelina London. This is a way that our staff can show that Evelina is an inclusive, non-judgemental place for LGBT+ children, young people, and their families.

“It was really important for us that the badge is meaningful. That is why, when staff sign-up to wear one, they receive information about LGBT+ inequalities. Also, ways that they could help address them.

“The initiative already has led to many extremely positive discussions between our staff, patients and doctors.” We hope that the toolkit will be used to inspire other NHS agencies to create rainbow badges. This can help in reducing inequality, stigma, and discrimination.

The badge has been worn by almost a third (32%) of Evelina London employees since its launch. To combat Stonewall statistics that nearly a quarter of NHS employees have heard their colleagues make disparaging remarks about LGBT+ people, a target was set at 25%.

Jayne King is the head of security at Guy’s, St Thomas’ NHS foundation Trust and cochair of the LGBT+ forum. She stated, “Equality between our staff members and patients, is extremely important to me. The NHS rainbow badge initiative shows our support for the LGBT+ population and our continuing commitment to celebrating diversity and inclusion.

“NHS staff have the ideal position to advocate for and support LGBT+ people. It can make a huge difference in the lives of LGBT+ persons and their mental and physical health.

The Guy’s, St Thomas’ charity supports the NHS rainbow-badge initiative. This charity provides funding to projects in Guy’s as well as St Thomas’.