More than 3,000 staff at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) have signed up for a recently launched LGBT+ inclusivity scheme, known as the Rainbow NHS badge initiative.
At MFT, staff are asked to undertake training and make a pledge to earn a special Rainbow NHS pin badge, to clearly identify to all staff and patients that they are advocates for the LGBT+ community. The Rainbow NHS Badge initiative aims to promote a better understanding of LGBT+ specific issues and to foster an environment which embraces diversity and inclusivity for staff, patients and hospital visitors alike.
The programme has been led by LGBT+ colleagues and delivered by the MFT LGBT Staff Network, a network of more than 400 members. 170 members of staff took part in this year’s Manchester Pride parade in August as part of the combined NHS entry.
Mags Bradbury, Associate Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion said: “At Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) we are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all of our staff, patients and visitors. We recently launched the Rainbow NHS scheme as another way for staff to visibly show their support to our mission of creating a working and caring environment across all of our hospitals and community services, which echoes our core values of treating everyone with dignity and care.
“The Rainbow NHS badge scheme has been really popular among staff and I’m pleased to say that more than 3,000 staff have signed up so far, with more pledges being made every week.”
Andrew Lloyd, Programme Manager, Workforce Development said: “Having been an NHS patient myself, I realise that initiatives such as the Rainbow NHS badge scheme can make a real difference to LGBT people. I am proud to work with such inclusive and diverse people and the brilliant response from staff across MFT shows how much we care about our patients and each other. By wearing a Rainbow NHS badge, myself and my colleagues can further demonstrate to our patients, visitors and fellow colleagues that we are inclusive and embrace diversity. This supports our Trust Values which include being Open, Honest and that Everyone Matters.”
The Rainbow NHS Badge initiative is a national scheme which Trusts and hospitals can opt to support, which originated at Evelina London Children’s Hospital to make a positive difference by promoting a message of inclusion.
Peter Blythin, Group Executive Director of Workforce and Corporate Business, said: “A founding principle of the NHS was to be inclusive and that remains as true today as it was when the NHS was established in 1948. Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) is delighted to join other Trusts around the country in supporting the Rainbow NHS pin badge initiative. The scheme aims to promote a better understanding of LGBT+ specific issues in healthcare and to foster an environment which embraces diversity and inclusivity for staff, patients and hospital visitors.”
Staff across MFT have been making their pledges to outline why they support the scheme for a variety of reasons:
I am proud to work for a Trust that supports me and respects my identity. I would like to be visible to others and help continue a progressive and accepting work environment.
This badge represents all that the NHS should be: open and inclusive to all, non-judgemental and welcoming.
I would like to wear a badge because there are those who are unable to. I would like to wear a badge for those who have fought to get us to the place we are today and those who continue fighting to get us to a better place tomorrow. I want to be a part of the community and the community to be a part of us all. I am not LGBT+ however I am an ally of all those who identify and unite under the flag.