North East LGBT+ NHS staff are being invited to be part of an online network.
Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW), a provider of mental health and disability services, has set up a twitter and Facebook page for its LGBT+ community to specifically provide support and exchange information.
NTW has held regular LGBT+ network meetings for the last 12 months, however not all staff have been able to attend, so it is hoped that by taking this forum online it will be more easily accessible to all LGBT+ staff where they can feel part of positive network.
We want this to be an inclusive environment where you can feel safe to share and be heard and speak openly. The forums do not have a political agenda and is not aligned to any specific political party. I hope that by bringing the network online will enable more staff to join us and feel part of the networkSimon PearsonChair of the LGBT+ network
A longer term aim of the network is to create an allies programme to support our LGBT+ staff members who feel isolated and unsure about coming forward with their needs.
Separate to this network is a union led self-organised group which deals with the politics of day to day working and works with management to address local issues.
Simon continues: “As well as providing an online solution to enable easy access to staff, the network will also look to provide education to the wider organisation. Our plan is to roll out training packages on LGBT+ awareness across the organisation, which are proving hugely popular as well as providing support to staff to enable them to fully support their patients who are in the LGBT+ spectrum.”
The new network can be accessed by twitter and also a closed Facebook page which staff can request to join. Initially the group will remain closed to LGBT+ staff only, however it is hoped in the future, once the work around awareness and the allies programme is complete the page will be opened to allies.
For more information or to request to join staff can email LGBT@ntw.nhs.uk or follow and join twitter @LGBT_NTW or request to join the Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/984784111682013