Rainbow badges worn with pride at South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust

South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) has launched the NHS Rainbow Badge pilot initiative within Maternity, Children and Community Health Visitor services, in partnership with Warwickshire County Council. This LGBT+ inclusivity scheme was originally launched at Evelina London Children’s Hospital (part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust) and has now been implemented in more than 45 trusts around England.

LGBT+ stands for lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender and the + simply means that the Trust is inclusive of all identities, regardless of how people define themselves. The scheme is in response to a Stonewall survey published in 2018 which stated that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) patients face inequalities in their experience of NHS healthcare.

Becky Hale, Assistant Director, People Strategy and Commissioning, Warwickshire County Council said: “The development of the NHS Rainbow scheme has been a fantastic team effort between midwives, health visitors, commissioners, community safety, the equalities team and the Equality and Inclusion Partnership. As the Assistant Director for Strategy & Commissioning, I am keen to ensure we work closely with our providers to support the delivery of high-quality inclusive services for families in Warwickshire. The engagement work with the LGBT+ community shows we have some work to do, however I am confident the NHS Rainbow scheme is moving us in the right direction.”

Jayne Blacklay, Managing Director at SWFT said: “The launch supported and encouraged people to share their personal experiences which enabled powerful discussions about challenges for the LGBT+ community. It is a great example of organisations and individuals collaborating to ensure we help and support everyone in our area who need our services. The launch was a great success and I am very proud to be part of a Trust that offers open, non-judgemental and inclusive care for patients, their families, staff members and service users who identify as LGBT+” Staff members who are part of the pilot and chose to wear the special NHS Rainbow badge undertake specific training and carry a responsibility and an opportunity to send a positive message of inclusion. By wearing the badge, staff are displaying that patients can talk openly and freely without any worry. Although staff are not expected to solve all issues and concerns, they can signpost them to support which is available.

Dr Mike Farquhar, Consultant in Paediatric Sleep Medicine at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, who helped develop and pilot the Rainbow NHS Badge scheme, said: “It is brilliant to see SWFT launching the rainbow NHS badge scheme, as part of the Trust’s ongoing commitment to raise awareness of LGBT+ health issues, and improve the healthcare experience for LGBT+ people.”

For more information about the NHS Rainbow Badges visit: https://bit.ly/34PyaMD