The Network held its first public event during and to mark LGBT History Month 2016, at Royal Bournemouth Hospital on the 17th February. Network collaboration with the hospital was marked on this day with the hospital publicly promoting its zero tolerance policy on homophobia and transphobia. Because this was done through the Network in conjunction with the Bournemouth Dorset & Poole LGB&T communities it was a development for LGB&T equality in Dorset of an unprecedented kind. All of the main service providing and representational LGB&T organisations are members of the Network, and were represented at the event.
Organisations participating through the Network in the event included: Bourne Free (Chair, Louise Clarke), Space Youth Project (Fr John), Intercom Trust (Jacqui), Silver Moments older LGB&T people’s group (Fr John), Jonai from DHUFT’s LGB&T staff group. The Olympics Legacy Anti-Homophobia in Sport project was also represented by Network convenor, Alan). A very big Thank you to Bourne Free for arranging for the printing and payment of the Network’s banner, displayed for the first time at the event.
On the day 50+ members of staff and members of the public were engaged with; the network gaining new members and further valuable plans for this community & hospital relationship, discussed. Suggestions on some areas of further work in support of particular topics such as mental health, awareness of the zero tolerance policy in contexts such as A&E outpatients ones, etc. were noted: the general prevailing attitude of respect for diversity and diverse communities such as sexual & gender minorities at the hospital was marked, and found to be deeply welcome and encouraging.Some images (below) from the day:
The Director of HR (Karen Allman), in addition to Sue Mellor (who working closely with Alan Mercel-Sanca and the Network, made this exceptional day possible) provided a statement of support about the zero tolerance policy and the awareness day, on behalf of the Trust’s CEO and Chair:
‘…..The best NHS organisations recognise that if patients are put at ease andfeel comfortable telling healthcare staff they are gay, lesbian, transgender for example then staff can offer better advice that prevents poor health, saves costs, and ensures patients are treated with dignity and respect. The same applies to our staff feeling supported at work. …’. statement of support.
The Network is helping through its LGB&T Health Advisory Group to assist the hospital with creating two communities engagement (one for LGB people, and one for Transgender individuals) information videos for its staff. Watch this space for further news …..!