Equality for everyone
Our network aims to enable LGBT+ colleagues and those in support of LGBT+ equality to come together to share ideas and information, offer support, and enhance the rights of LGBT+ people within NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT).
It is also to help demystify and clarify who can donate what and present the guidelines in clear English.
What does LGBT+ stand for?
LGBT+ is an initialism of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender/transsexual. The ‘plus’ is inclusive of other groups, such as asexual, intersex, pansexual, queer, questioning etc.
By signalling an LGBT+ presence within NHSBT, the network also aims to promote a comfortable and fully inclusive environment in which LGBT+ colleagues can reach their full potential without fear of discrimination.
Who we work with
We work in partnership with senior management, trade union colleagues and all other NHSBT colleagues to create an inclusive and diverse working environment that encourages a culture of respect and equality for everyone regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Since 2017, the chair of the network has met with the NHSBT Chief Executive and Person Director to affirm the importance of progressing LGBT+ equality.
As a member of the Stonewall Diversity Champions Programme, we are working with Stonewall (Europe’s largest LGBT charity), to help us ensure that all colleagues are accepted without exception.
For the first time we have taken part in the Workplace Equality Index which will help us develop an action plan to continually improve so that all our colleagues can feel safe and accepted at work.
The NHS Blood and Transplant LGBT+ Network will:
- Aim to increase the inclusivity of LGBT+ people within NHS Blood and Transplant
- Promote a positive working environment for LGBT+ colleagues
- Advise on diversity policy and practice relevant to LGBT+ people
- Aim to improve LGBT+ equality within the organisation and the United Kingdom
- Support those affected by LGBT+ inequality and help ensure accountability
- Aim to support the career ambitions of LGBT+ colleagues
- Work with Stonewall and its Workplace Equality Index (WEI) to progress LGBT+ rights within NHS Blood and Transplant
- Help to demystify negative perceptions and inaccuracies around LGBT+ blood, organ and stem cell donation
- Aim to help prevent marginalisation of LGBT+ people by engaging with communities to promote LGBT+ donation
- Attempt to increase blood, organ and stem cell donation through positive engagement with LGBT+ people and other stakeholders
- Support NHSBT in developing an LGBT+ inclusive environment free from institution homophobia, transphobia and biphobia
Campaigning for equality
- Establishment of the network and its terms of reference.
- Providing visibility of the network throughout the organisation.
- Running workshops and surveys on LGBT+ inclusion and the experience of LGBT+ colleagues. We discuss findings with senior management and union colleagues, and work closely with them to improve the workplace.
- Training on LGBT+ inclusion, by-stander awareness training, recognising the different types of discrimination, and how to influence other on diversity and inclusion best practice.
- Campaigns which include personal and video blogs on the importance of LGBT equality.
Advocating for LGBT+ donation
- Advocated for the temporary change to the donor deferral guidelines for blood and tissue donation for men who have sex with men (MSM) individuals from 12 months to 3 months at the House of Lords.
- The chair of the network works on the For the Assessment of Individualised Risk (FAIR) Steering Group – a group that is looking at the feasibility of implementing MSM deferral guidelines based on individual risk.
- Awareness campaigns on the international day against homophobia, trans-phobia and bi-phobia (IDAHOBIT) and the importance of ensuring LGBT+ equality worldwide.
LGBT+ Network lanyards
After the formation of the LGBT+ network in 2017, it was decided that a campaign was required to raise the profile of the network within the organisation and to stamp out discrimination harassment and bullying due to a person’s sexuality, sexual orientation or gender.
It was decided that the best way forward would be a visible sign in the style of a lanyard that complied with NHSBT lanyard requirements and demonstrated support of the LGBT+ network and of equality and diversity generally.
The lanyard was launched during the equality and diversity week (14-19 May 2018) in solidarity for IDAHOT after an internal publicity campaign.
By January 2019, over 3,000 of our 5,600 colleagues (approximately 55%) were visibly showing their support for the network and stand against discrimination by wearing the lanyards.
The progress made by the LGBT+ network was recognised in November 2018, where the network was awarded NHSBT’s first championing inclusivity award at its annual Give Hope Awards.
This award represents the hard work and commitment of all LGBT+ network members in the enhancing LGBT+ equality.