During February, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) held a series of events, launched new resources and published blogs to help raise awareness for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) History month.
LGBT History month is when the lives and achievements of the LGBT community are celebrated. This month-long initiative provides a valuable opportunity to showcase programmes that actively work to improve the health of LGBT people and the wider community, and to look at how far gay rights have come, particularly in the delivery of LGBT inclusive services.
Throughout February, members of the Trust’s LGBT network group held information stands in the restaurants at Furness General Hospital, Westmorland General Hospital and Royal Lancaster Infirmary to provide staff and members of the public with an insight into what the network do and what they have been working on for the past 12 months. There was also weekly features in the staff newsletter right through February, each telling a different story of a staff member involved in the LGBT group.
The Trust’s work to support and celebrate LGBT staff is supported by Stonewall, a national charity that campaigns for the equality of LGBT people across Britain.
Andrew Crundell, LGBT Network Lead, UHMBT, said: “Supporting our patients and all our work colleagues, not just those in the LGBT community, has been a strong motivater in the work we have done over the last 12 months. As it was LGBT History Month in February, we wanted to promote the work the network members have been doing.
“Over the last 12 months, the network has worked with colleagues to produce the Trust’s first Transgender Care Policy. We have also been engaging with the Transgender community to make sure we can provide them with everything they may need if ever visiting one of our hospitals, and working with ward staff to make sure they are trained to support any Transgender patient. This kind of work further demonstrates the ways our Trust has worked towards our recent rating of outstanding for Caring from the Care Quality Commission.
“The network has also been looking at how we can help managers in the Trust support LGBT staff in their teams better. We have a produced a special guide which provides information and ‘Top Tips’ not only to-wards supporting LGBT staff but also creating an inclusive culture for all.”
Members of the LGBT network group at UHMBT can’t praise the work enough: “Being involved in the LGBT network gives me confidence that inclusion is a priority for the Trust. The group has already moved into an exciting phase which I am proud to be a part of. It means a lot that we have executive support and that the network users are at the forefront of moving the agenda forward, this in turn will improve outcomes for LGBT patients.”
“The Trusts support of the LGBT network has really shown a commitment to inclusion, effecting a positive change in our culture for both staff and the LGBT community.”
“The network members are really engaged with the agenda and this has already made a powerful statement, creating an even greater place to work. We are all really proud to be employees of a leading Trust on inclusion and diversity, as both Stonewall Champions and in the top 50 inclusive employers in the UK.”
David Wilkinson, Director of Workforce and Organisational Development, UHMBT, said: “I am really proud of the work that our LGBT network group has been doing. We pride ourselves on ensuring our hospitals are inclusive places to work and be cared for, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation and religious beliefs. Our network groups play a key role in making improvements through the lived experience of employees.”
“The work that the networks are doing is striving towards this. Well done to everyone involved!”
NHS Employers – the voice of employers in the NHS – also celebrated LGBT History Month and published a case study of the work to improve employee and patient experience for the LGBT community at UHMBT. You can read the case study on the NHS Employers website at this LINK.
For more information on LGBT History Month, visit http://lgbthistorymonth.org.uk/.