Liverpool’s Aintree University Hospital has become the first NHS organisation in Merseyside to join a grassroots campaign showing support for LGBT+ communities.
The Rainbow Badge project sees members of staff sign a pledge before they receive a rainbow coloured NHS pin badge. More than 750 staff signed up in the first week at Aintree.
The badge is intended to show that Aintree offers open, non-judgemental and inclusive care and support for LGBT+ patients and colleagues.
Steve Warburton, Chief Executive at Aintree, said: “We strive to be open, non-judgemental and compassionate to our patients, staff and community and it’s great to see that such large numbers of staff have embraced the project in its first week. I’m delighted to be joining them in signing our pledge to offer support for LGBT+ colleagues and show that we are an inclusive organisation regardless of how people define themselves.”
Calum Edge, 35, is a Major Trauma Nurse Coordinator at Aintree and was one of the first staff to sign the pledge.
He said: “I’m delighted that Aintree has taken part in this initiative. As a proud member of the LGBT+ community, I have become increasingly more proactive in supporting equality issues. By doing something as simple as wearing a rainbow NHS badge, I am letting staff, patients and visitors know that I am an ally, that I am here to support them if they need it and that Aintree is welcoming to everyone, regardless of how they identify.”
This year, for the first time, staff at Aintree will join forces with NHS colleagues from organisations across the region to march at Liverpool Pride on Saturday 27th July.
The Rainbow Badge project was developed at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, part of London’s Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, by a team including paediatrician Dr Michael Farquhar.
Dr Farquhar said: “Despite improving social attitudes in the UK, LGBT+ people can still face significant barriers to accessing healthcare and this can have a detrimental impact on physical and mental health. It’s great to see colleagues at Aintree joining the growing number of NHS organisations taking part in the project and spreading our message of acceptance, inclusion and support far and wide.”
More information about the Rainbow Badge project is available by following @RainbowNHSBadge on Twitter.