As the Executive Lead for the NELFT LGBT+ society., I was proud to be invited to the official launch of our rainbow lanyard scheme, signifying our commitment to supporting LGBT+ staff across the trust and providing the best care to our patients.
Equality, diversity and inclusion is a topic that is embedded and considered at every level within the Trust and one that I am very passionate about. As part of the board, we are aware that by creating an inclusive and diverse workplace, we will have more innovation, staff retention, and overall increased productively, which ultimately has better outcomes for patients.
Here at NELFT, we proudly stand by our values (our 5Ps) and always reflect on what these values represent to our staff and our patients
•Progressive, innovative and continually improving
•Professional and honest
•Promoting what is possible - independence, opportunity and choice
As practitioners, it is extremely important people in our care are confident in talking to us about any issue they may have, even if that issue relates to sexuality without the fear of prejudice or negative judgement. As a highly recognised symbol of the LGBT community, the rainbow will instantly put patients and colleagues at ease to know that they may talk about concerns they may have.
For example, a new mother going into our children’s services seeing a nurse wearing a NELFT Rainbow Lanyard will feel more confident in talking about the child’s other mother instead of dreading being questioned about the ‘father’, or a young person using one of our adolescent mental health services seeing a Psychologist wearing a Rainbow Lanyard will feel confident that they can talk about their personal issues facing their sexuality.
Last month, our executive team, alongside members of our Equality and Diversity and LGBT+ network, signed our LGBT+ pledge. Today we take this one step further by becoming the 2nd NHS Trust in the UK to launch the scheme, demonstrating our support and inclusion towards LGBT+ staff and patients.
Two of our speakers at yesterday's event, Paul Deemer, NHS Employers and Trudy Howson, LGBT Poet Laureate, spoke about the fact that it is great to have an event but it is important to ensure that everyone understands the significance of what the rainbow lanyards represent. If you see me, or any of my colleagues, wearing the lanyards, please feel free to come up and ask me about our work to support the LGBT+ community,
This is just the start of our journey over the rainbow and, while we have a lot of work still to do, we hope you will join us.