26.06.20

Health and Care LGBTQ+ Leaders Network launched

NHS Confederation has launched the Health and Care LGBTQ+ Leaders Network to transform the NHS so that members of the LGBTQ+ community can be assured of equal treatment, receive the best care and work in an inclusive environment across the healthcare service.

Made up of both LGBTQ+ leaders and allies from a range of roles, skills and backgrounds across health and care, the network will seek to provide a platform for the community to listen, share and engage with their peers and allies.

The aim of the newly-established network is to build a social movement of LGBTQ+ people and their allies who have aspirations to take up NHS leadership roles and bring about positive change across the system.

The network will work collaboratively to engage with the LGBTQ+ community, allies, wider NHS leadership and other organisations such as professional bodies, trades unions and voluntary organisations, with a view to:

  • Increasing numbers and visibility of LGBTQ+ on boards and in senior leadership across healthcare
  • Improving the experience of LGBTQ+ staff and increasing value across all NHS organisations
  • Improving the experience of LGBTQ+ patients

As part of the network’s mission statement, it wishes to make tangible changes to the NHS which will have a real impact for members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies. Developing living libraries to promote greater visibility, reducing sickness absence and improving retention of LGBTQ+ staff, as well as developing metrics of patient experience, have all been earmarked as potential areas of improvement the network can make a difference in.

Members will be able to connect with peers from across health and care and other relevant bodies, as well as participating in discussions and sharing knowledge. The network will offer an opportunity for members to make their voices heard and influence change across the system.

Peter Molyneux, Chair of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Chair of the Health and Care LGBTQ+ Network said: “In the 51 years since the riot at the Stonewall Inn the LGBTQ+ community has come a long way. However, there is still a long way to go. As James Baldwin, said: ‘not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced’.

“This network will help us to face the challenges we have in health and care and to provide the visible leadership and support for staff necessary to ensure that everyone in the LGBTQ+ community receives the best care or works in an inclusive environment where they can thrive”.

Layla McCay, a director at the NHS Confederation, added: “The time is here to come together and make equality a reality for LGBTQ+ people in health and care. I am struck by two persistent injustices faced by LGBTQ+ staff and patients: career prospects and health outcomes.

“We want this Network to help our health and care sectors be fantastic places to work for LGBTQ+ people, and for LGBTQ+ people to be able to access the inclusive health and care services they need and deserve. I hope the Network will enable LGBTQ+ people to make our voices heard and together drive the changes we need to flourish.”

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