NHS organisations should strive to create a culture and environment that welcomes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender staff, allowing them to be themselves at work and to contribute fully to the wider organisation.
A recent report by the CIPD revealed LGBT+ staff are more likely to experience conflict and harassment at work than their heterosexual and cisgender colleagues. Furthermore the 2020 NHS staff survey found that 13.7 per cent of gay or lesbian staff reported discrimination from patients or the public, and 11.8 per cent from their colleagues. A BMJ article also highlighted that COVID-19 had exacerbated LGBTQ+ health inequalities.
To help you better understand and address the issues facing LGBTQ+ staff, we have provided a summary of information and links to LGBTQ+ resources below.
Health and Care LGBTQ+ Leaders Network
The NHS Confederation launched a network for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) leaders and allies from a diverse range of roles and backgrounds across health and care.
The network has produced a series of resources ranging from blogs, written by the network members and co-chairs on a range of topical subjects. In addition practical recommendations to support NHS trusts and their work on addressing LGBTQ+ challenges and health inequalities.
NHS Employers in partnership with the Health and Care LGBTQ+ Leaders Network hosted a virtual event in June 2020 - Responding to LGBTQ+ equalities during COVID-19 and beyond. The webinar explored the inequalities experienced by LGBTQ+ people, watch the webinar recording.
- In May 2020, the LGBT Foundation published Hidden Figures: The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on LGBT Communities on the profound effects the pandemic has had on the lives of LGBT people in areas such as mental health; isolation; substance misuse; eating disorders; living in unsafe environments; financial impact; homelessness; access to healthcare; and access to support.
- Similarly in April 2020, The Trevor Project highlighted the impact of COVID-19 on LGBTQ+ youth due to physical distancing, economic strain, and increased anxiety.
- In October 2019, the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee published the Health and Social Care and LGBT Communities report. This report highlighted that LGBTQ people are being let down in health and social care, by structures and services that are not inclusive or designed with them in mind.
- In July 2019 the government published the first LGBT Action Plan Annual Progress Report 2018 to 2019.
Research on LGBT+ staff networks in the NHS
In October 2020, The University of York published a report looking at how LGBT+ employee networks operate within the NHS.
The report presents a detailed picture of how LGBT+ networks operate, what they do and some of the challenges that networks face. Recommendations made within the report are aimed at helping NHS organisations develop the long-term capacity for networks to flourish and add real value.