Stonewall Health Champion St Andrew’s scores top marks
Thirty-nine healthcare providers enter the third and final Healthcare Equality Index
Trusts based in Northumbria, Leeds, Durham and London complete top five
Stonewall, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality charity, today named St Andrew’s Healthcare the most LGB-inclusive healthcare organisation in England.
In its third and final year, the Healthcare Equality Index lists Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust Foundation second and Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust as the third most inclusive healthcare providers. County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust came in fourth and London-based Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust was fifth.
The Healthcare Equality Index is a tool for health providers to benchmark and track their progress on equality for their lesbian, gay and bisexual patients and communities.
An awards ceremony was kindly held for those organisations that entered this year’s Index at The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, a Stonewall Health Champion.
St Andrew’s Healthcare has improved since 2014, where it came third in the Index. When the charity was told that some patients felt cut off from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans community, the charity provided accessible LGBT-themed literature and resources in areas such as its library.
Thirty-nine healthcare organisations entered the Index, including ambulance trusts, independent sector providers and social enterprise organisations. Organisations were assessed against criteria including patient policy and practice, engagement and communication with gay people, improving the health of gay patients and staff training on gay health needs.
We have had fun this year as well as working hard to make sure we are welcoming and inclusive for our lesbian, gay and bisexual patients. Patients at all our sites have especially enjoyed decorating a beautiful rainbow lion sculpture to celebrate diversity. Our patient and staff ‘equality allies’ have marked special days by wearing a rainbow colour and we have been flying the rainbow flag.
We have also improved policies, learning opportunities and awareness. For example, our patient library now provides a range of LGBT-themed literature. We know there will always be more to do, but we are truly honoured to be at the top of this year’s Healthcare Equality Index.
Fiona Mason, Chief Medical Officer, St. Andrew’s Healthcare
Each year the standard in the Healthcare Equality Index increases, and so all organisations who have secured top 10 positions should be extremely proud, and a special congratulations to St. Andrew’s Healthcare. Lesbian, gay and bisexual people still experience and expect poor health outcomes and treatment when they use the NHS. Every organisation that entered helps tackle health inequalities and deliver a 21st century health service accessible to all.
James Taylor, Head of Campaigns, Stonewall