Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust is the 11th best performing NHS Trust for gay, lesbian and bisexual-friendly health services, according to Stonewall, the sexual orientation charity.
Recently released figures show that the Trust features highly in Stonewall’s Healthcare Equality Index, which measures how well NHS organisations value and promote the principles of equality and diversity.
The Trust successfully applied to Stonewall last year to become a Health Champion, receiving free support to improve local health services for lesbian, gay and bisexual people, funded by the Department of Health.
Stonewall has conducted research which shows that lesbian, gay and bisexual people can face significant health inequalities, as well as discrimination, when accessing health services. The Health Champions Programme offers member organisations practical advice to help them achieve real improvements in the care they provide to local gay people and their families.
Alison Gilbert, director of clinical delivery for Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, said: “We have a duty to ensure that everyone can access our services and that they are treated equally, regardless of issues like gender, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. We’re delighted that we’re the 11th best performing NHS Trust of those who took part in the scheme, which is an important part of our on-going work to embed the principles of equality and diversity in everything we do.
“The Trust has also introduced the Equality Delivery System (EDS), launched by the Department of Health, which will help us to deliver against our statutory requirements in promoting and valuing equality and diversity – both to our staff and the people who need our services.”
James Taylor, Stonewall senior health officer, added: “We’re delighted that Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust has taken part in the Health Champions Programme and their position on the Index shows just how well they are doing. “Stonewall research shows that the specific needs of gay people are too often overlooked in the provision of healthcare. At the same time lesbian, gay and bisexual patients and staff continue to face discrimination, sometimes inadvertent, across the NHS. Our work with NHS organisations across England helps them to meet their legal obligations and to model best practice.”