What’s the best thing about working at your organisation? It’s all about the people – those colleagues I work with in immediate teams and the great people I meet everyday across the organisation caring for people.
At work, how do you think being LGBT relates to identity and why do you think it is important to support LGBTQ+ people and initiatives in the workplace? Providing healthcare to people needs empathy and compassion whatever the role in the NHS – we can’t expect people to bring that if they can’t be their best selves. That means being respected and valued for identity however that has been shaped by their unique characteristics and life experience.
Neil, Head of Communications
What’s the best thing about working at BSUH? The people. By far and away it’s the people – BSUH is a genuine community of passionate, caring people who welcomed me with open arms and who continue to support me as I get more involved with the stories in the trust.
At work, how do you think being LGBT relates to other parts of your identity? No one bats an eye when I refer to my boyfriend – “he’s just started a degree” or “I’m really proud of him because…”. As such, I don’t really think about it much at work because the culture I experience is open, equal and accepting. I’ve worked in places previously where I’ve had to be much more careful about what I say, censoring myself as I talk about things (or just not saying anything at all). It’s not like that here, and I’m aware what a privilege this is.
Nicky, Quality Team (Deputy Chair of LGBTQ+ Staff Network)
What’s the best thing about working at BSUH? Feeling like the work you do is directly making a difference to improving care for patients regardless of whether you are clinical or not. You realise that everyone at BSUH plays a part in ensuring patients receive the best experience and level of care when they come to our hospitals.
At work, how do you think being LGBT relates to identity and why do you think it is important to support LGBTQ+ people and initiatives in the workplace? I think being out and proud at work is really important, it’s where you spend most of your time so I think being able to express yourself and be comfortable in your identity around your colleagues is massively important for our wellbeing. I think visibility is key as it may help encourage those who feel less comfortable with being out at work to be their true selves and it shows how supportive BSUH is of these identities and hopefully will be representative of the way we care for our patients.
What’s it like being LGBT at your organisation? I feel truly accepted for who I am, open and welcomed to be myself and have fortunately never felt discriminated against amongst my colleagues. I’ve also been encouraged to get involved in our LGBTQ+ Staff Network and in doing so have met some wonderful other individuals from all around the Trust.
Lizzie, Non-Executive Director
What’s the best thing about working at BSUH? The energy and passion to provide excellent compassionate gentle care to every single patient every day. I watch staff who don’t know who I am nor that I am observing and see acts of kindness both small and large everywhere. Also a great team ethos – staff I meet talk about their colleagues with respect and affection.
At work, how do you think being LGBT relates to identity and why do you think it is important to support LGBTQ+ people and initiatives in the workplace? Our sexual orientation defines part of who we are as a person both at work and home. To embrace and value the whole person we need to celebrate and respect who we are in all aspects. Doing this allows us all to feel happy, comfortable, and valued at work and able to contribute all we can. It means we have a diverse and open culture that is rich and so better supports our success in both working with colleagues and in serving and understanding our diverse communities.
Simon, Deputy Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
What’s the best thing about working at BSUH? I enjoy the people and the growing inclusiveness of the culture of the organisation. I feel I am appreciated and allowed to take initiative to get things accomplished. I feel that I am trusted.
What’s it like being LGBT at your organisation? I have been at the Trust for over 12 years, and I have never experienced any problems with being gay. I am openly out and do not need to self-censor.
Babs, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
What’s the best thing about working for your organisation? The organisation has given me the support to develop at my own pace and I have been able to make an interest into a career.
At work, how do you think being LGBT relates to identity and why do you think it is important to support LGBTQ+ people and initiatives in the workplace? I identify as an LGBTQ+ Ally not because it is expected due to my role, but because all human beings should be afforded respect and dignity in all areas of their life. I may not be able to change the wider society, but I can help to ensure that BSUH is a fairer workplace for my LGBTQ+ colleagues.
Janet, Senior Practitioner
What’s the best thing about working at BSUH? The sea views, the culture, values and behaviours in Children’s Critical Care, the children, young people and families that I work with, the cycle ride in the mornings, the Pride float, having a good manager, working in a great team …
What’s it like being LGBT at your organisation? It’s OK. I think it’s easier for me as a confident, middle-aged English woman than it is for some other LGBT staff. The organisational culture is slowly improving and I’m glad to be part of that. It was great to see senior clinical and board representation at Pride last year
Jonathan, Senior Practitioner
What’s it like working for your organisation? It’s friendly, it’s in Brighton, it’s by the sea. Not to mention the opportunities, to have the ability to become the Practitioner I am today, with the support of the amazing Consultants I work with has been phenomenal. Not to mention the financial support, it’s without a doubt that I can safely say that BSUH definitely supports staff in their development regardless of what their ambitions are.
Are you involved in the LGBT network or other LGBT inclusion work at your organisation? If so, why do you think it’s important? I was initially but unfortunately with all the academia I took on I haven’t been as present as I’d like to be. I believe it’s important as firstly we are a community, we are stronger together. If you feel the area where you work isn’t up to par with LGBT inclusion it’s an opportunity to network and get ideas from others as to how to make this change and you also have power in numbers. Also, you can never have too many friends and there is nothing more comforting than being around people who get you, understand you and probably have had similar struggles to you.