Doctors, nurses and receptionists in Blackpool are adding a touch of colour to their clothes to show their support for the town’s LGBT community.
Seven different surgeries in the resort have signed up for the NHS rainbow badges initiative, which aims to show patients that their local GPs are inclusive, non-judgemental places where they are able to seek out help and support, regardless of sexuality or gender.
The badges will be rolled out at Adelaide Street Family Practice, the South King Street Medical Centre, the Elizabeth Street Surgery, the Waterloo Medical Centre on Waterloo Road, the Abbey Dale Medical Centre on Common Edge Road, and the Glenroyd Medical Centre on Whitegate Drive from December 2.
Adam Gee, of the Adelaide Street Practice, who rallied for the rainbow badges to be introduced in Blackpool, said: “We thought there is quite a sizeable LGBT community here in Blackpool, and these badges are there to promote the message of inclusion, and we thought that was a message worth sending out.
“We’re trying to make people more comfortable. It’s there to show people we are there if they need us.
“We saw it as a way of encouraging those who identify as LGBT+ to feel comfortable in talking to our staff about who they were and how they felt, which would in turn enable us to direct them to the necessary support if they needed it.
“Many LGBT young people don’t really have an adult to turn to or confide in, and healthcare professionals can play a key role in making people aware of the support that is available in the area.”
The NHS rainbow badge initiative was born at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital in Lambeth following discussions about inclusion and the lack of adult support available to many LGBT young people.
Find out more about the NHS rainbow badges online at www.nuh.nhs.uk/nhs-rainbow-badges