David Leaper is a Clinical Operations Manager working for NCH&C’s North Locality Hub. He is also the trust’s LGBTQ+ ambassador.
Here, David tells us how he is marking Pride month in the time of social distancing:
“Throughout the month of June, the LGBTQ+ community would usually come together to celebrate diversity and inclusion, recognising the positive influences LGBTQ+ people have had around the world and reflecting on past challenges those in our communities and further afield may have had to encounter.
“As a person who identifies as LGBTQ+, I would usually look forward to either taking part in local annual pride events, or certainly keeping up to date with events that are taking place across the country with the use of social media. I regularly attend the Norwich Pride events and have taken part in the last two annual Norwich Pride events wearing my NCH&C logo with pride – working with other NCH&C colleagues on the NCH&C stand in Chapelfield Gardens. It has always been a way for me to engage with the LGBTQ+ community, but also to represent our organisation as an inclusive and diverse employer and care provider. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, a number of these events have now been cancelled for 2020. The trust will be taking part in a virtual #RunWithPride 5K fun run on 26 July in place of the cancelled Norwich Pride event, so I am dusting off my running shoes and will be running with pride!
“Where we cannot be together as a community in person, there are lots of ways we can be together to celebrate diversity in our communities. The @VirtualNHSPride event taking place on 26 June will be one way that I will be celebrating pride this year – focussing on the positive impact all our NHS colleagues have had in meeting the challenges that Coronavirus has brought us. This will be followed by the Global Pride event on 27 June (both events will be broadcast via social media). I hope you have a chance to join us in celebrating these events.
“The trust also takes part in the nationally recognised NHS Rainbow Badge scheme – which is an initiative designed to help us demonstrate a positive message of inclusion as nobody should be afraid to be themselves. The NHS Rainbow Badge scheme originated in Evelina London Children’s Hospital to make a positive difference. LGBTQ+ represents lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (or questioning) with the + representing inclusivity of all identities regardless of how a person defines themselves. Did you know that 1 in 7 LGBTQ+ people said they had avoided healthcare treatment for fear of being discriminated, and 1 in 4 have witnessed healthcare staff making negative comments about LGBTQ+ patients (Stonewall - a LGBTQ+ charity Research finding)?
“The NHS Rainbow Badge is a small step that we can take to demonstrate we are committed to reducing inequalities and barriers that our patients and community may face – which will improve the care we provide to our patients.
“Finally, I would just like to highlight the Virtual Staff Network that has been introduced for all NCH&C staff, which has been set up to provide dedicated to colleagues who are black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME); LGBTQ+; disabled and those with long term conditions. This closed Microsoft Teams group is supported by the trust’s three Staff Ambassadors – Dr Klint Asafu-Adjaye, Julie Haynes and me – as well as Alex Watson, HR Business Partner and Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Lead.
“A very happy Pride month to all of you…”
*NCH&C staff seeking information about the NHS Rainbow Badge or the trust’s Virtual Staff Network can find out more on the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Intranet page.