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Rainbow badge shows that mental health staff at NSFT care, whoever you are

​​Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has joined the Rainbow Badge initiative to show we stand with LGBT+ people.

The rainbow NHS badge tells LGBT+ people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other identities) that they are in a positive, inclusive, safe environment and will be supported if they choose to disclose their sexuality or gender identity.

Karn Purvis, NSFT Equality Advisor, said: “Respect and dignity were at the heart of the NHS from the moment it was established in 1948, but it isn’t always felt by everyone as much as it should be – so we have challenged ourselves to go further.

“You might not know, when you visit us, about the outreach work we do, or the education we give to our staff on transgender issues. You might not know our recruitment team goes to Pride events to harness the best talent from the LGBT+ communities. 

“So NSFT has joined the NHS Rainbow Badge initiative.

“It can be more difficult to live in rural areas of Norfolk and Suffolk as an LGBT+ person, which is why our Trust is committed to making sure we are a truly welcoming, open, and inclusive place to work and receive treatment. 

“When LGBT+ people access our services, they will now see the Rainbow Badge commitment we’ve made on display in reception, and see our staff wearing rainbow NHS badges. 

“Anyone wearing the badge has signed a pledge to say they know how tough it can be, and that they are ready to listen without judgment and help direct people to the best support. People will know that they don’t have to worry whether they’ll be accepted and valued when they visit us.”

An estimated one in five LGBT+ people has not told any healthcare professional about their sexual orientation when seeking care, and one in seven has avoided treatment for fear of discrimination. LGBT+ teenagers are more likely than their peers to face bullying, self-harm and attempt suicide.

The Rainbow Badge initiative is a way for NHS staff to demonstrate that they are aware of the issues that LGBT+ people can face when accessing healthcare.

The initiative originated at Evelina London Children’s Hospital and community services, part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. 

You can find out more by visiting the Rainbow Badges page on the NSFT website here.

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