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30 September 2019

UH Bristol wearing NHS rainbow badges with pride

Since Wednesday 25 September, members of staff across University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust have been wearing NHS rainbow badges as a way of demonstrating that UH Bristol is an open, non-judgemental and inclusive environment for all identities, no matter how people define themselves.


 One in five LGBT+ people nationally are not out about their sexual orientation to any healthcare professional according to a 2018 Stonewall survey. This can make a significant difference for patients, helping healthcare staff to best support all physical and mental health needs.

Wearing the badges, which originated at Evelina London Children's Hospital and have since been adopted at hospitals across the UK, is a way of signalling that people can feel confident in discussing LGBT+ issues with staff, and that they will be signposted to the appropriate support if needed. In the week that badges have been available, more than 1,000 pledges have been made, and nearly 700 badges handed out to staff all across the Trust.

The badges have been funded by Above & Beyond, the official UH Bristol hospitals charity and the launch has been led by the LGBT+ forum - a forum for all staff to talk about diversity issues and to promote inclusion across the Trust.

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Matt Joint, director of people at UH Bristol said:
"As a Trust, we place a huge value on equality for both patients and staff.  One of our core values as a Trust is to respect everyone, and I'm delighted that, thanks to the commitment of our staff and support from Above & Beyond, we have been able to support our LGBT+ forum in launching the NHS rainbow badges at UH Bristol as a symbol of this.

"We understand and accept that equality is not just about wearing a badge though, and we have plans in place to support all of our staff, and to ensure that every person who comes through our doors receives the highest quality of care, regardless of how they identify."

Teresa Sullivan, workforce diversity and inclusion officer at UH Bristol, added:
"I'm really pleased that we're able to introduce the scheme at UH Bristol as a visible symbol of our commitment to building a culture of equality and inclusion. A crucial part of the scheme is that it requires positive sign-up from staff - committing to read information which gives an overview of the issues and why it's important for all healthcare staff to be aware of them. They're more than just a badge; they're a commitment to our patients and to each other that we are inclusive of all identities.

Amy Barnard-Smith, hospital partnerships manager at Above & Beyond, said:
"Thanks to our generous supporters we have been able to fund these rainbow badges for staff at UH Bristol hospitals.

"It's great to be able to help staff at the hospitals show their alliance with people who identify as LGBT+ and show UH Bristol as an open and inclusive environment."