NHS Rainbow Badges are now being worn by over 500 staff at Southport and Ormskirk Hospitals NHS Trust, to send a positive message of inclusion.
Rainbow badges show that Southport and Ormskirk hospitals are an open, non-judgemental and inclusive place for people that identify as LGBT+.
LGBT+ stands for lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender and the + means that the wearer is inclusive of all identities, regardless of how people define themselves.
Wearing the badge is a sign that the wearer is someone you can talk to about issues of sexuality and gender identity. When staff sign up to wear the badge they are provided with information about the challenges people who identify as LGBT+ can face accessing healthcare and what they can do to support them.
The badge is an NHS logo superimposed on the rainbow pride flag and can be worn on lanyards or uniforms. The initiative was created by Dr Michael Farquhar of Guy’s and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust. More than 100 clinical commissioning groups, GP surgeries and hospitals from across the country have already expressed an interest in rolling it out.
Bob Davies, equality and diversity lead at the Trust explains: “We know that teenagers who identify as LBGT+ are more likely to attempt suicide or self-harm, more likely to be bullied, or will even avoid seeking out healthcare for fear of discrimination. These statistics are worrying so it is very encouraging to see over one quarter of our staff here proudly wearing these badges and showing support.
“Badges wearers are standing in solidarity with LGBT+ people, and that support is vital for both patients and other staff members. We hope that our younger patients particularly find this helpful and welcoming, should they need to talk.”