By choosing to wear this a rainbow badge, you are sending a message that "you can talk to me” both to your colleagues and patients.
Wearing the badge doesn't mean you are expected to have the answers to all issues and concerns, but you are a friendly ear and will know how to signpost to the support available.
But it’s not just all about wearing a badge which will help make Mid Essex CCG more inclusive and open for all, there are simple things we can all do to promote inclusion:
- Use inclusive language in all discussions;
- Affirm the identity that a person chooses to use; and
- Assure confidentiality.
LGBT+ patients continue to face inequalities in their experience of NHS healthcare. Despite improving social attitudes in general towards LGBT+ people in the UK, negative attitudes (homophobia, biphobia, transphobia) are still widely prevalent.
Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety are much higher in people who identify as LGBT+. Many people still feel afraid to disclose their sexuality or gender identity, and to ‘come out’. Being unable to do this often increases their risk of physical and mental health problems.
Increased awareness of the issues surrounding LGBT+ people who are accessing healthcare can make a significant differences to their experience.
Similarly, NHS staff can also face these challenges with many reporting that they aren’t comfortable disclosing their sexual orientation at work. This can lead to stress and anxiety and impact on an individuals’ ability to deliver their job.