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Sheffield Children’s launches Rainbow Badge scheme to support LGBT+ patients, families and colleagues

Sheffield Children's Rainbow badge team, Theo Bear and Rainbow flag
26 February 2020

Sheffield Children’s has officially launched the NHS Rainbow Badge scheme as one way young people and families can be reassured that the Trust is an open, non-judgemental and inclusive place for people who identify as LGBT+.

Over 40% of staff at Sheffield Children’s are already wearing the NHS Rainbow Badge.  After completing an online learning package, they have chosen to identify themselves as someone who is open and a safe person to speak to about issues surrounding sexuality and gender identity.

Dr Ronx raising the Rainbow Flag

Dr Ronx raising the Rainbow Flag at The Becton Centre

The online learning package consists of information around the challenges LGBT+ young people face and the local and national resources available to support them.

LGBT+ stands for lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender and the + simply means that Sheffield Children’s is inclusive of all identities, regardless of how people define themselves.

According to the Stonewall School Report 2017, just two in five LGBT+ young people (40 per cent) have an adult at home they can talk to about being LGBT+. Stonewall said in the report: “openly LGBT+ role models and allies also play a crucial role in supporting LGBT+ young people to be themselves” – the Rainbow Badge scheme is a step towards providing this.

Staff across the Trust continue to be encouraged to sign up for the scheme as an opportunity to send a positive message of inclusion.

Patients seeing people wearing the badge can know that they are not alone, that Sheffield Children’s is a place of inclusion they can talk freely about LGBT+ issues to that person. They will also help to get specific support for LGBT+ young people if they need it.

The NHS Rainbow Badge scheme originated at Evelina London Children’s Hospital and is now being adopted by NHS Trusts up and down the country. Sheffield Children’s is delighted to be part of the scheme.

Ruth Brown, Deputy Chief Executive of Sheffield Children’s, said: “The NHS Rainbow Badge scheme is a great opportunity for patients being cared for at our Trust to know that staff are aware of issues LGBT+ people can face when accessing healthcare.

“We are always working to make sure our environment is somewhere young people and their families feel listened to and comfortable to talk about the issues affecting them.

“Wearing the NHS Rainbow Badge is one of the steps we’re taking to make sure Sheffield Children’s is an open, non-judgemental and inclusive place for people who identify as LGBT+.”

Dr Ronx, LGBTI+ campaigner, Emergency medicine doctor and BBC presenter, helped launch the Rainbow Badge at Sheffield Children’s. They said:  “The NHS Rainbow Badge is possibly one of the best initiatives that I have been involved with.

Dr Ronx with their Rainbow Badge at Sheffield Childrens

Dr Ronx with their Rainbow Badge

“To see so many NHS staff committing and pledging to the initiative is so important for me because the studies and statistics tell us that LGBTIQ + people for many reasons struggle to access healthcare.

“These badges are a way of signalling to people that WE ARE open minded, are sensitive to the needs of LGBITQ+ folk, are a “safe space” and will signpost when required.

“I had an absolutely great afternoon at Sheffield Children’s and especially enjoyed interacting with some young people at The Becton Centre where we spoke about everything from our favourite animals, to the subject of ‘coming out’.

“It is an absolute privilege to be involved with this initiative – the conversations and interactions have been everything I could have hoped for – long may they continue!”

Sophie, a youth worker at SAYiT, Sheffield’s LGBT+ youth charity which is supporting the Trust with the Rainbow Badge scheme, said: “We are delighted that this innovative project has been launched at Sheffield Children’s. As we know LGBT+ people still experience significant health inequalities. We are delighted that Sheffield Children’s is taking positive action to address such health inequalities.

“Our young people attending SAYiT’s youth groups tell us they often feel that they are going to be judged when they access healthcare, or do not feel that they can be open about who they are.  SAYiT’s vision is that our young people will be respected and allowed to be their true authentic selves wherever they go. On behalf of SAYiT and our young people, I want to thank every single Badge wearer for making this vision more possible.”

Rainbow Team and executive team at Sheffield Childrens with, Theo Bear, Dr Ronx, Councillor Jackie Drayton, Lord Mayor Tony Downing

Rainbow Team and executive team at Sheffield Children’s with, Theo Bear, Dr Ronx, Councillor Jackie Drayton, Lord Mayor Tony Downing, CEO of SAYit Sheffield Steve Slack

Rainbow team with Lord Mayor and Dr Ronx and CEO John Somers

Rainbow team with Lord Mayor and Dr Ronx and CEO John Somers

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