Date of release: 6 September 2021
A message from Simon Evans, Chief Strategy Officer.
At The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT), we are committed to making sure the LGBT+ community feel safe and understood.
We realise LGBT+ patients may have concerns about how they will be treated while in our care, and may even avoid treatment due to fear of discrimination, however, as we mark Pride in the NHS Week 2021, I wanted to take the opportunity to remind our patients, visitors and local communities, that we are here to support all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Staff will treat you fairly and in a non-judgemental way.
Running from 6-10 September, this national Pride campaign (hosted by NHS England) advocates inclusivity and celebrates the rich diversity of the NHS workforce and its service users, while also challenging the stigmas and health inequalities that are sadly still experienced today.
Here at RWT, we are working hard to create a culture where everyone feels respected and valued, with unique qualities celebrated and differences embraced. Our LGBT+ Employee Voice Group plays an important role in doing just that – ensuring we listen to (and act on) concerns, alleviate fears and protect the wellbeing of the LGBT+ people who work for us.
Through sharing ‘lived’ experiences and raising awareness, the group educates staff to help them to think about their behaviours and the impact they have on others. And by highlighting both the present-day issues and of the history of LGBT+ community, this helps to our staff on the frontline understand and feel confident to meet the needs of LGBT people in their care, while also being an ‘ally’ and a listening ear to their colleagues.
As the new executive champion for the LGBT+ group, I’m incredibly proud of the progress made by its members and thank them for their commitment to creating an inclusive workplace. I’d encourage all staff to attend the monthly meetings to learn more (particularly about the rainbow badge scheme and what is signifies). As an LGBT+ ally, I am proud to advocate for my LGBT+ colleagues and I look forward to what the next few months will bring.
We know there is still much work to be done to eradicate discrimination, and many still don’t feel able to be their true selves, and this is why I’d ask RWT staff to champion change in their area and call out inappropriate behaviours. I’d also ask that you take a moment this week to learn something new about LGBT+ experiences or to ask questions so that you can be knowledgeable and supportive.
NHS England are running a number of virtual workshops this week, open to staff and the public, which can help encourage discussions amongst your teams, friends and families: NHS England - Pride in the NHS Week.
So please, do your bit and stand united with the LGBT+ community – whether that’s by attending a virtual event, waving your rainbow flag or educating yourself with a short article or video shared in the Trust intranet pages. Together, we can send a powerful message to others that discrimination and abuse will not be tolerated.
Chief Strategy Officer