NHS Rainbow Badge Scheme

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NHS Rainbow Badge Scheme

rainbow badgeA recent Stonewall survey (published in November 2018) estimates that one in five LGBTQ+ people do not disclose their sexual orientation to any healthcare professional when seeking general medical care, and one in seven LGBTQ+ people have avoided treatment for fear of discrimination.

Despite the progress made towards LGBTQ+ equality in recent years, many LGBTQ+ people still face significant barriers to leading healthy, happy and fulfilling lives. With high rates of poor mental health and challenges when accessing healthcare a contributing factor.

Phase one of the NHS Rainbow Badge was developed and led by the Evelina London Children’s Hospital (Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust). 

It was launched in 2018 as a way for NHS staff to demonstrate that they are aware of the issues relating the the Stonewall survey. 

By signing up, we are showing that our Trust offers open, non-judgmental and inclusive support and care for all, regardless of how people identify themselves.

Our patients, and people who use our services, can be sure that we are dedicated to providing safe and high quality care with services that are fair and equally accessible to everyone regardless of age, gender, mental or physical disability, marital status, gender identity, maternity status, race, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, or social class.

Our staff and volunteers know we are committed to the elimination of discrimination, promoting equal opportunities, and celebrating a diverse and inclusive organisation where everyone feels they belong.

We have a zero tolerance policy and, now more than ever, we need our colleagues to be their authentic self at work; to feel valued, respected, safe and empowered to provide the best possible experience and outcomes for their patients.

The Trust's LGBTQ+ staff network and Board of Directors are focussed on supporting LGBTQ+ inclusion and championing the Trust’s zero tolerance approach towards any homophobic, bi-phobic and transphobic discrimination.

Rainbow badge accreditation — bronze award

bronze rainbow badge accreditation

In January 2023 the NHS rainbow badge initiative moved from a pledge-based system to an assessment and accreditation model. The process enabled Trusts to demonstrate their commitment to reducing barriers to healthcare for LGBTQ+ people, whilst evidencing existing good practice.   

Trust policies, workforce inclusion, clinical service provision, leadership and staff and patient surveys were assessed to determine a Trust's award level. 

We were able to evidence an existing commitment to LGBT+ inclusion across the workforce and the effective steps we have taken to tackle some of the healthcare barriers for LGBT+ patients. For this, we recieved the bronze award. 

The Trust now has an action plan in place to help develop further improvements and facilitate meaningful change, so that everyone feels safe to work and receive care at Mid Yorks.

If you see someone wearing a rainbow badge

If you see one of our staff wearing a rainbow badge, they have made an informed choice to do so. This means you can be sure they are a friendly ear, willing to listen without judgment and will know how to signpost to the support available. So please don’t be afraid to talk to them.

Support and advice

  • The charity Stonewall has excellent resources to support LGBTQ+ people - Stonewall
  • The Albert Kennedy Trust provides support for LGBTQ+ people who are homeless or living in a hostile home environment - www.akt.org.uk/
  • There is a wide range of resources and support on the LGBT Foundation website - lgbt.foundation/