NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin show support for LGBTQIA+ History Month

8 February 2022

The NHS in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin is showing support for LGBT+ History Month this February by creating a new network and resources for staff.

LGBT+ History Month is an annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and non-binary history, including the history of LGBTQIA+ rights and related civil rights movements.

Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System (ICS) – the new organisation overseeing the NHS and its partner organisations in the local area – is taking proactive steps to raise awareness of LGBTQIA+ issues. This has included setting up a new network for staff and creating online learning and resources to increase understanding of LGBTQIA+ issues.

Victoria Rankin, Senior Responsible Officer for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin ICS, said: “Our county’s health and care organisations are proud to have a diverse workforce. Our colleagues are our local communities and represent a range of cultural, ethnic, religious and social backgrounds, including LGBTQIA+ groups.

“It’s really important that we continue to keep Equality, Diversity and Inclusion firmly on our agenda and improve our awareness of LGBTQIA+ communities and their history, challenges and barriers.

“Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin ICS is proud to have a new LGBTQIA+ network to support NHS and healthcare staff around the system. The group meets regularly and we are hoping to expand, attract more members and run more events to support our LGBTQIA+ staff.”

The ICS’s new online learning content for staff includes topics such as LGBTQIA+ history in Britain, a sexual orientation toolkit, resources on transgender healthcare and many more. All staff can access these resources and learning modules to help better understand LGBTQIA+ issues.

Stacey Keegan, Interim Chief Executive of The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (RJAH), said: “Being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community myself, I know how important it is to demonstrate that all patients and staff across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin feel safe and seen.

“I am encouraged by the work that Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin ICS is doing to support the LGBTQIA+ community by setting up a dedicated staff network to provide a safe space for people to come together. We see the network as a forum of discussion for staff within the community and their allies – a chance to share knowledge and to make a positive difference.

“Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital is an integral part of the ICS, and the hospital has demonstrated its support by signing up to the NHS rainbow badge scheme. This initiative provides staff with a way to show that their place of work offers open, non-judgemental and inclusive care for all who identify as LGBTQIA+. The rainbow badge is a visual symbol that shows we are here to listen and that everyone is welcome and safe.

“This LGBTQIA+ History Month gives us another chance to pause and reflect. I am proud of who I am and of how far we have come but there is more we still need to do, as a health system and as a society, to make sure that everyone is valued for who they are and has a voice.”

For more information on Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin ICS visit: https://www.stwics.org.uk

Page last updated 8 February 2022