Switchboard’s Health Inclusion Award supports and celebrates LGBTQ inclusive practice across health and social care. It has been developed in partnership with communities and as one of the outcomes from our research on Impact of Covid on LGBTQ Communities in Brighton and Hove and Report on LGBTQ+ Communities and the Care Quality Commission
Switchboard were founded in Brighton in 1975 and are a nationally recognised provider, influencing national policy around a wide range of LGBTQ healthcare issues and delivering award winning services from dementia support to domestic abuse.
Switchboard work closely with organisations such as RCGP, CQC and NHS England, delivering programmes like NHS Rainbow Badges in hospital trusts across England.
Switchboard have developed a primary care specific award to bring national best practice in line with local innovation and insight. In the past 12 months Switchboard have won the prestigious GSK Impact Award and Royal Society for Public Health’s ‘Health Equity’ award for their work in the health and care landscape.
From inclusive coding to cancer care, and from pronouns to referral pathways, the health inclusion award is designed to save primary care teams time by providing a bank of bespoke tools and resources, alongside training and advice that remains on offer during and after a practice is awarded. Importantly, the award will allow practices to celebrate their LGBT inclusion credentials and share their success with patients, commissioners and bodies like the CQC.
The criteria and training cover things like
- History & contact for inequalities
- Physical and Virtual environment
- Connecting with LGBTQ+ community groups
- Clinical guidelines (eg. bridging prescriptions, PrEP & PEP)
- Language, pronouns and terminology
In February 2018 Switchboard began working with Langley Green, a mental health hospital in Crawley, to support them to achieve our LGBTQ Inclusion Award. We worked alongside them for eight months until they achieved the Gold level of the Award in October 2018.
Katy Stafford, the hospital matron, and her team worked extremely hard to reach this inclusion benchmark. To achieve the Gold Award, the hospital has met a very long list of criteria including both the Bronze and Silver levels of the Award. Activities undertaken by Langley Green include:
- training 94% of staff in LGBTQ inclusion training
- training key staff in supporting LGBTQ patients in an inpatient setting
- introducing gender neutral toilets throughout
- displaying LGBTQ-affirmative policies, statements and images
- asking all patients for their preferred pronouns
- staff wearing pronoun badges
- identifying an LGBTQ Champion on each ward
- starting all patient groups with an inclusion statement
- signposting patients to LGBTQ services as needed
Staff confidence levels
Thirty Langley Green staff members took part in a pre- and post-Award ‘Supporting LGBTQ People’ confidence survey. Results show that staff’s confidence in supporting LGBTQ patients significantly improved during the Award process.
“The journey to reaching the gold LGBTQ inclusion award has changed and shaped our Hospital and some of us as individuals in a broader and more valuable way then I had anticipated.”
– Katy Stafford, Matron
The Langley Green Hospital team receiving the Gold Award
Undertaking the LGBTQ Inclusion Award
There is a fee for any healthcare facility or setting undertaking the Award. The fee covers assessor hours, training workshops and learning resources, and is based on the number of staff at the facility or setting.
To learn more about the LGBTQ Inclusion Award, or to express an interest in applying for the Award, please email [email protected]