Have you spotted our NHS rainbow badges?

NHS Rainbow Badges

You may see our staff wearing NHS Rainbow Badges. These badges are just one way to show that Bedlingtonshire Medical Group is an open and inclusive place for patients and staff who identify as LGBTQ+

If you see one of our staff wearing a badge – ask them about it. The badge is a reminder that you can talk to us about who your are, be open about your identity and how you feel. We will do our best to get support for you if you need it.About the Rainbow Badges initiative

About the Rainbow Badge Initiative

The Rainbow Badge initiative originated at Evelina London Children’s Hospital to make a positive difference by promoting a message of inclusion. The scheme has now won two awards.

A recent Stonewall survey (published November 2018) stated that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) patients face inequalities in their experience of NHS healthcare. The 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.

We believe that people who work in healthcare can play a key role in making things better.

To begin to increase awareness of these issues, and to help improve the experiences of healthcare for LBGT+ patients, our staff wear NHS rainbow badges.

Why we have adopted the NHS Rainbow Badge Initiative

Inclusivity leads to better healthcare

There is lots of evidence nationally that people who identify as LGBT+ have higher likelihood of depression, suicidal thoughts, and self-harm. They may also delay seeking medical help for fear of discrimination, which could adversely impact on their health.

Research has shown that when people feel confident to disclose their sexual orientation to healthcare professionals they report better experiences with their care and may be likely to access care more quickly from an inclusive healthcare provider.

The badge provides an obvious visual cue to support patients in feeling comfortable disclosing their sexual orientation and in seeking advice and support.

Inclusivity improves staff wellbeing

Our workforce is our biggest asset and without them we would simply not be able to provide patient care. We strive to be the best place to work so that we can attract and retain the best staff.

We want people to feel safe at work and free from the fear of discrimination. We want to educate and raise awareness of the importance of LGBT+ experiences so that we can further grow our culture of understanding and there is also strong evidence linking staff wellbeing and motivation to better patient outcomes so by supporting staff we will also be able to deliver the best patient care.

Information for young people

Talking about sexuality and gender, and how you feel about it, can be difficult, especially at first. People wearing a rainbow badge are there to listen, support and to help you to seek help if you need it.

There are some great resources to find out more about gender and sexuality, most of them online.

Juno Dawson’s book – ‘This Book Is Gay’ is written by a young adult author and former PSHE teacher, It is a book that aims to ‘smash the myths and prejudices surrounding sexual orientation and gender identity’.

Stonewall have a great guide to ‘Coming out as a young person’, which gives lots of answers to questions young people often have when they are thinking about coming out, or are wondering if they are lesbian, gay or bi.

Young people working with Gendered Intelligence and the Department of Health have written ‘A guide for young trans people in the UK’. It has lots of useful information if you feel that your gender identity is different to the one you were assigned when you were born.

More information about gender identity can be found on the NHS information website and GIDS (The Gender Identity Development Service) website. GIDS is a highly specialised clinic that supports young people in relation to gender identity

The Albert Kennedy Trust, provide support for LGBT+ young people who may be living in a violent, abusive or hostile environment, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

National Support & Information

LGBT Foundation – lgbt.foundation

Switchboard (LGBT+ Helpline) – switchboard.lgbt

Government Equalities Office – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/advice-and-support-for-lgbt-people

Mind (LGBTIQ+ Mental Health) – https://www.mind.org.uk

Stonewall – https://stonewall.org.uk

LGBT Consortium – http://www.lgbtconsortium.org.uk/

Galop (LGBT+ anti-violence charity) – http://www.galop.org.uk/

Sexual health for men who have sex with men – www.nhs.uk/sexual-health-for-gay-and-bisexual-men/

Sexual health for women who have sex with women – www.nhs.uk/sexual-health-for-lesbian-and-bisexual-women/