Spectrum, the support network for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) colleagues at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, hosted an internal Virtual Pride celebration for the organisation on Thursday 25 June. This was ahead of national NHS Virtual Pride the following day – organised by NHS England and Improvement – on the eve of what would have been London Pride 2020.

With Leicester Pride also among the list of Pride events cancelled this year due to Covid-19, NHS Virtual Pride became an opportunity for staff to celebrate the achievements of LPT and our commitment to the LGBT community in Leicester and beyond.

NHS Rainbow Badge Scheme

Approximately 2,500 staff (50% of the Trust) have signed a pledge to receive a special NHS rainbow badge. The pledge outlines the responsibilities of the badge wearer to be:

  • Someone who an LGBT+ person can feel comfortable talking to about issues relating to sexuality or gender identity
  • Someone who will listen to the needs of an LGBT+ person without judgement, and has the ability to signpost to further support if needed
  • Someone who promotes a positive message of inclusion, and promotes a workplace culture where people can be themselves if they choose to do so and will champion LGBT+ equality across the Trust

In addition – this year would have been the third year in a row where LPT have walked together in the parade alongside LGBT+ colleagues, allies, their families, children and friends. We march proudly to show our support for the community that we serve.

Gordon King, director of mental health and executive sponsor of Spectrum, opened the event and said: “LPT is proud to support NHS Virtual Pride and committed to supporting our LGBT+ staff and service users. This important initiative gives us a chance to reflect – and whilst we are celebrating – to also think about what we still need to overcome and work towards. Pride was born out of the protests in response to the oppression and discrimination of LGBT people. It’s now turned into a celebration of love and hope, but I hope we can learn from these teachings and use them to support and empower the groups of people who are still fighting for equality today.”

Kartik Bhalla, chair of LPT’s Spectrum staff network said: “Equality and culture is a key priority for the Trust. Enabling LGBT+ colleagues to be visible, and celebrating the diversity of our organisation is a positive and much-needed step towards achieving this. It is important we can all bring our whole selves to work, with support and free from judgement.”