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NHS staff wearing rainbow badges to show support to LGBT+ patients

Over 3,000 Guy’s and St Thomas’ staff wearing NHS rainbow badges

    • More than 300 NHS organisations have requested the Evelina London toolkit to roll out scheme
    • One in five hospital trusts in England are introducing rainbow badges for their staff

 

  • The scheme was launched less than three months ago during LGBT history month

More than 3,000 staff at Guy’s and St Thomas’ are wearing NHS rainbow badges to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) patients. 

The scheme was developed by Evelina London and rolled out across the Trust in February during LGBT history month.

Despite launching less than three months ago more than 300 NHS organisations, including hospital trusts, clinical commissioning groups and GP surgeries, have requested a special toolkit developed by Evelina London to help roll out the scheme.

Currently one in five trusts in England have already launched the scheme or are planning to roll it out.

The badge is an NHS logo superimposed on the rainbow pride flag and can be worn on lanyards or uniforms. They promote a message of inclusion and are a sign that the wearer is someone you can talk to about issues of sexuality and gender identity.

When staff sign up to wear the badge they are provided with information about the challenges people who identify as LGBT+ can face accessing healthcare and what they can do to support them.

A Stonewall survey 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.

Dr Michael Farquhar, NHS rainbow badge initiative lead and sleep consultant at Evelina London, said: “It is absolutely fantastic that so many of our staff are wearing the NHS rainbow badge. The scheme was only rolled out across our Trust in February so it’s brilliant to have so many staff choosing to wear the badge in such a short amount of time.

“Wearing a NHS rainbow badge is a way for our staff to show that Guy’s and St Thomas’ is an open, non-judgemental and inclusive place for children, young people and their families who identify as LGBT+ and that we are here for them in every way. The response from our staff and patients has been extremely positive.”

The project has been backed by the Department of Health and Social Care, and Strictly Come Dancing star, and former Evelina London paediatrician, Dr Ranj.

Dr Farquhar added: “We have been completely blown away by the large number of NHS organisations that have requested our toolkit and are planning to roll out the scheme. We really hope that it will encourage other NHS organisations to introduce rainbow badges as they can play a valuable part in reducing stigma and inequality.”

Implementation packs are available for other NHS organisations via the Rainbow Badge project team, who can be contacted at RainbowBadge@gstt.nhs.uk

LGBT+ stands for lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender and the + means that we are inclusive of all identities, regardless of how people define themselves.

Evelina London is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. The hospital was founded in 1869 as Evelina Hospital for Sick Children by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, whose wife, Evelina, died along with their baby in childbirth.

To find out how Evelina London will be celebrating its special birthday, visit www.evelinalondon.nhs.uk/150

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