Newcastle Hospitals join NHS rainbow badge initiative

THIS week (Monday 22 July) The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust joined the NHS Rainbow Badge initiative to give staff the opportunity to show their support to creating and an open, non-judgemental and inclusive organisation for LGTB+ staff and patients.

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

The badge is an NHS logo superimposed on the rainbow pride flag and by choosing to wear the NHS Rainbow Badge, staff at the Trust will be sending a message that people can approach them and talk to them.

Chief Operating Officer at the Newcastle Hospitals, Martin Wilson said: “I am delighted that as a Trust we are actively supporting this wonderful initiative. Wearing the badge allows us to showcase one our core values ‘We are inclusive’ and is a reminder that that you can talk to our staff about who you are and be open about your identity and how you feel.

“Staff across the Trust are already wearing their badges with pride and it is important that we show that at Newcastle Hospitals equality, diversity and human rights for everyone are really important.”

LGBT+ people can face inequalities and barriers to accessing healthcare and services; research has shown that negative attitudes towards LGBT+ people are still common within the NHS. A recent Stonewall survey* estimates that one in five LGBT+ people are not out to any healthcare professional about their sexual orientation when seeking general medical care, and one in seven LGBT+ people have avoided treatment for fear of discrimination.

Having simple visible symbols - such as these rainbow badges - can make a big difference for those unsure of both themselves and of the reception they will receive if they disclose their sexuality and/or gender identity.

The launch of the initiative closely follows the Northern Pride Festival, a weekend of LGBT+ celebrations in the heart of Newcastle where for the first time a Newcastle Hospitals banner was part of the Stonewall Remembrance March.

Find out more about the NHS Rainbow Badge initiative here https://www.evelinalondon.nhs.uk/about-us/who-we-are/NHS-Rainbow-Badges.aspx

* Stonewall LGBT in Britain – Health (2018) https://www.stonewall.org.uk/lgbt-britain-health

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