BSUH NHS Trust has new rainbow lanyards and pins for all staff to wear. This is part of our commitment to positive signifiers to raise the standards of understanding about minority sexual orientations (lesbian, gay, bisexual) and transgender identity.

History of rainbow signifiers at NHS Trusts

In 2015 Central and South West NHS Foundation Trust became the first NHS Trust to roll out rainbow lanyards and pin badges. Based on a study and report initiated and conducted by Alison Devlin, the Equality Lead at the Trust, which showed that patients were worried about how they would be treated because of their sexual orientation and trans identity.  She moved to introduce voluntary NHS rainbow lanyards and pins. At the time, Alison Devlin said “This report really highlighted the importance of creating a more open environment and a better experience for LGBT patients. As a result of the findings we rolled out LGBT awareness training sessions for inpatient staff which, together with the lanyard scheme, has helped to encourage openness on the wards and transform the patient experience. They give a powerful message to people at a time when they might be feeling at their most vulnerable.”

Since then  numerous other Trusts have introduced rainbow lanyards and pins, the most high profile being the Rainbow NHS Badge Project run by Dr Mike Farquar at Evelina London. Dr Farquar is developing information packs and resources that can be used by other Trusts to roll out their own NHS rainbow pin badges.

What is happening at BSUH?

This is a proactive measure which encourages staff to think about what they need in their individual teams/ward areas/departments. We encourage teams and individual staff to step forward to improve their understanding about the healthcare needs of transgender people and those of minority sexual orientations – lesbian, gay and bisexual.

It will help improve patient care and staff wellbeing:

(a)    Takes the responsibility away from the person having to determine if it is safe to disclose they are transgender and/or sexual orientation.

(b)   Will encourage people to fill in sexual orientation monitoring information if they can see that BSUH is trying to be a safe space for them. This information is critical to ensuring we can fund initiatives where they are needed and assess whether staff are being negatively affected in workplace progression by their sexual orientation or because of gender reassignment.

(c)    It will help with cancer services and end of life care where patients are less likely to speak up about their needs.

(d)   It will help younger people accessing services to feel less anxious about talking about their sexual orientation, especially if they are unable to talk to their carers.

(f)     It will be a clear sign from the Trust that it will not tolerate discrimination based on the protected characteristics of sexual orientation or gender reassignment.

Contact us for information.