Here at BWC, we are a proud supporter of the NHS rainbow badges initiative, launched across our Trust in 2019 and adopted by hundreds of our team.
The NHS rainbow badges initiative gives staff a visible way to show that BWC offers open, non-judgemental and inclusive care for our women, children, young people and families who identify as LGBTQ+.
By choosing to wear the rainbow badge, our staff members send a message that they can talk to them about who they are, they can be open about their identity and they can share how they feel, without worry.
It also shows them that we will do our best to get support for them if they need it and that our NHS sites are a place of inclusion so they are not alone.
Despite the progress made towards equality in recent years, many LGBTQ+ people still face significant barriers to leading healthy, happy and fulfilling lives. With high rates of poor mental health and challenges when accessing healthcare services a contributing factor.
Many people still feel afraid to disclose their sexuality or gender identity and also to ‘come out’ – being unable to do so often increases their risk of physical and mental health problems. Therefore, this initiative is vitally important.
Increased awareness of the issues surrounding LGBTQ+ people when accessing healthcare on the part of NHS staff can make significant differences to their experience, and, in turn on their physical and mental health.
Simple visible symbols, such as the rainbow badge, can make a big difference for those unsure of both themselves, and of the reception they will receive if they disclose their sexuality and/or gender identity.
Members of staff interested in getting a rainbow badge, or finding out more about the initiative, can visit the ‘LGBTQ+ History Month’ intranet page for more information.