KGH shows its LGBTQ support
Staff at Kettering General Hospital are showing their support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community by wearing distinctive enamel badges.
The trust is launching NHS Rainbow Badges for staff who want to demonstrate to members of the LGBTQ community that their feelings and sexual or gender identity will be respected during their time at the hospital.
Rainbow Badges are a small rainbow coloured enamel badge that are worn by staff on their clothes or lanyards and which represent the idea of accepting the diversity represented by LGBTQ people.
Staff will qualify to wear the badge once they have received training from QSpace, an LGBTQ support group who are based in Northampton, but work across the county.
The trust’s LGBTQ Staff Network chairman, John Leivers, said: “Coming into hospital is a stressful time for anyone – and it can be even more so if you also need to reveal your sexual or gender identity.
“For example LGBTQ people may need to be assured that their same sex partner will be acknowledged or their gender identity is respected.
“By having the badges we want our patients and visitors to feel that the hospital is a safe place to discuss their identity alongside any other reason for being in hospital.”
The NHS Rainbow Badge initiative was officially launched in the NHS in early 2019 by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London.
Since then the scheme has been taken up by more than 60 per cent of all NHS Trusts.
The badges act as a signal for patients, visitors and staff that feelings will be respected as well their sexual or gender identity.
The badges will only be worn by KGH staff who have undertaken appropriate training with QSpace – and it is hoped that more and more will take up the training as the idea takes off.
John said: “It’s important for KGH that these badges aren’t tokenistic. We don’t want people to add them to a collection of NHS badges.
“And that is why we are working so closely with QSpace – who are experts in the field - to deliver the right kind of training and awareness to staff.”
More than 40 KGH staff signed up to the first tranche of training with more planned from December onwards.
Kettering General Hospital’s executive sponsor for the scheme, Jo Fawcus, said: “As a trust, we are committed to promoting inclusion and celebrating the diverse backgrounds that all staff bring with them when they join our organisation.
“We currently have a number of staff support networks of which the LGBT staff group is one.
“This launch offers us the chance to strengthen our support for the network and to also show our LGBT staff and patients that we value them and that we want KGH to be a safe space for
everyone to be themselves.”
A QSpace spokesman said: “Q Space is delivering training to support KGH in their aim to promote LGBTQ awareness while launching the NHS rainbow badge campaign.
“It is Q Space's mission to support the local LGBTQ community in mind, body, and spirit, so, in line with this, it is our hope to ensure staff are as knowledgeable in aspects of LGBTQ life
that can be a barrier to seeking and receiving healthcare.
“We believe that with training staff can be more aware of these in struggles and be more equipped to support LGBTQ+ people.”