The BSUH NHS Trust rainbow lanyard and pin badges initiative was launched in November 2018.
Designed, launched and led by Olivia King, BSUH Equality Advisor, staff received additional gender and sexual diversity training on request, resources were made available at statutory and mandatory training, new staff were introduced to LGBT+ inclusion at induction and information was regularly posted on social media sites. Patients and the public were made aware of the initiative through third sector organisations, the press and patient-facing groups.
The Royal College of Nursing, Unite and Unison stepped forward to partly fund the initiative. Demand for lanyards and pin badges remains high, particularly among clinical staff across BSUH sites. Staff have provided feedback on the initiative since it was launched. These are just some of the comments received:
‘This is the first time I have worked somewhere that has rainbow lanyards.’
‘I feel proud to support my LGBT+ colleagues.’
‘We have found that patients have asked us about the badges and are glad we wear them.’
Olivia King has been monitoring the feedback and taking note of trends. One of the key outcomes has been a noticeable reduction in aggressive behaviour by patients in ward areas which have a higher prevalence of this problem. Staff in these areas have provided positive feedback about how the rainbow signifiers have made a general impact on aggression levels. This is similar to findings in other healthcare organisations which have launched a signifier initiative.
As of the 10th of April 2019, BSUH has run out of stock of rainbow lanyards and pins.
Remember: anyone can wear the rainbow signifiers.
The initiative is to:
- actively promote health inclusion and put patients first;
- reduce health inequalities for LGBT+ patients who may feel uncomfortable accessing services due to who they are & previous experience of discrimination;
- help all staff feel included and welcome on BSUH premises;
- send a signal to young LGBT+ people that they are safe under our care;
- help LGBT+ people on the end of life and cancer care pathways feel safe, valued and able to talk about their needs without fear;
- show respect for diversity of staff, patients and all those who access our care;
- demontrate awareness that LGBT+ people have different ethnic backgrounds, different sexes, may be disabled, are of different age groups, religions and beliefs etc.;
- reduce the incidence of hate speech and abuse towards staff and patients.