Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) has shown its commitment to creating an inclusive workplace. Trust executives have signed a pledge agreeing to be part of the solution to stop hate and create change.
Created by the Trust’s LGBT+ Staff Network, the pledge sets out that everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, deserves respect and to feel safe and supported.
By signing, staff at the Trust pledge to challenge all instances of transphobia, biphobia, and homophobia and to stand by the LGBT+ community. They promise to ensure that CNTW will fully promote inclusivity, equality, and diversity for all of its staff and service users.
CNTW is a leading provider of mental health and disability services in the North East and north Cumbria.
Andrea McInerny, Co-chair of CNTW’s LGBT+ Staff Network, said: “I hope that this pledge sends a signal throughout the Trust that there is no place for any kind of discriminatory behaviour.
“It will show those who come to work in the Trust that it’s an inclusive workplace. It also sends a message to the community we serve and reassures those who want to seek care from us or have a loved one who needs care, that this is a safe space.
“The pledge ensures people are supported to discuss their gender and can be signposted to relevant resources and support. It’s okay to not know everything and for people to say they want to know more about these issues. I’m part of the community and I’m still learning.”
The pledge is also about agreeing to challenge language and perceptions by having positive discussions, raising awareness of issues facing the gender non-conforming community.
Chief Executive James Duncan said: “There is no room for hate, discrimination, or fear in CNTW. We value each other and we want to feel valued for who we are, and we want to reflect and be representative of all of the communities that we serve. Not only is this simply the right thing to do, but it also means that we can provide better care and support to everyone. I am delighted to sign this pledge in which we embrace the LGBT+ community within our organisation and across our communities, and promise to work together to tackle all forms of discrimination and to make our organisation a great place to work, and to receive care, for all.”
Andrea added: “We’re delighted to have the backing from executives. The staff network can only do so much, we need to have support from the top, and this pledge demonstrates just that.”
Simon Pearson, Chair of the Trust’s LGBTQ+ Staff Network, said: “It instils confidence and reassurance in me that our Trust is committed to stamping out any discrimination to or from staff and service users. It also sends a clear message to those members of staff and service users that their dignity and difference is welcomed and respected.
“The pledges are a declaration that anyone who is LGBT+, either employed by or receiving care from the Trust, can be certain that their unique individuality will be valued. This ensures that they will not be treated any differently than anyone else and the care they receive will reflect and be informed by their difference.”
The LGBT+ Staff Network at CNTW aims to promote a work environment where staff feel supported, valued, and able to be themselves. They challenge discrimination and positively promote acceptance to ensure staff are able to fulfil their potential.
This is one of a number of things CNTW has done to promote equality, inclusivity, and diversity. Earlier this year, CNTW made a public commitment to support a ban on conversion therapy in the UK.