This week is the first ever national ‘Pride in the NHS Week’ which takes the theme Elevate, Educate, Celebrate.
We have been celebrating this new Pride week across both organisations with a series of events to raise awareness of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender+ (LGBT+) staff.
Simon Evans, the Chief Strategy Officer at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and the new LGBT+ Employee Voice Group executive champion, kicked off the week with a welcome message on social media and Trust Brief, our weekly online staff newsletter.
Carl Marshall, RWT’s Project Support Officer, Patient Experience Team, and Group Chair of the LGBT+ Employee Voice Group, shared a thoughtful article about pronouns and identity and the importance of asking people who they’d like to be referred to.
In addition, food outlets have supported the week by selling rainbow cookies.
For RWT colleagues, I would urge people to join the Employee Voice Group (staff can find out more on the intranet) alongside how to register for their rainbow badge. Most of the info about these things are on http://trustnet.xrwh.nhs.uk/working-at-rwt/supporting-our-lgbt-colleagues/
At Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, Ned Hobbs, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Sponsor for our LGBTQ+ Trans rights / Straight Allies network, wrote a blog to staff promoting the week via Daily Dose, our daily internal online staff newsletter and on social media.
Awareness of LGBT+ was also promoted via a stand in the main atrium of Walsall Manor Hospital on Thursday afternoon. Colleagues were able to pick up stickers and badges to show their support, raise awareness and find out how to become allies for the community. And there was cake!
Across both Trusts on social media, staff have displayed photos and related experiences about why they are proud to be LGBT+, or proud to be an ally, and there have been photos of different teams waving the rainbow flag, which symbolises LGBT+.
I am proud to support our collective efforts with LGBTQ+ staff networks. We want to:
- Grow a safe and inclusive network for all staff who identify as LGBTQ+, and allies.
- Ensure LGBTQ+ awareness is everyone’s business.
- Promote LGBTQ+ equality in the provision of healthcare services
- Become a welcoming, safe and inclusive workplace for staff that people can trust.
I wish all of our LGBTQ+ colleagues – and our straight colleagues and allies – a happy Pride in the NHS Week and I hope we can all strive to create true equality and inclusivity across both our organisations.
If anyone at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust is interested in joining or supporting our LGBTQ+ staff network, they should email StaffInclusionNetwork@walsallhealthcare.nhs.uk
For RWT colleagues, the LGBT_ Employee Voice Group is always looking to recruit new members, so if you have an interest and want to contribute towards a fair and equal working environment, please email rwh-tr.LGBTEmployeeVoiceGroup@nhs.net
Nationally, an NHS Virtual Pride event will be taking place on tomorrow at 4pm. It is a celebratory two-hour virtual march supported by colleagues including some from Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s LGBTQ+ staff network, pictured.
There is also a series of events going on within NHS England to promote Pride in the NHS Week. They can be found here: https://www.events.england.nhs.uk/uploads/entity/173485/prideinthenhsweeknhsvirtualprideprogramme-6112815f02459.pdf