The NHS Ayrshire & Arran Sexual Health Service has been awarded the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Charter Silver Award in recognition of its commitment to LGBT equality.
Dr Ruth Holman, Consultant in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Astrud Gibson, Sexual Health Nurse led the service in achieving the Silver Award. Dr Holman explains why the Charter is important:
“The LGBT Charter demonstrates our organisation’s commitment to LGBT people in the local community and to our staff by supporting them to identify their rights.
It helps us to look at our policy and practice, including our legal obligations in the context of LGBT equality.
“It sends a positive message to LGBT people that they are included, valued and supported, and that they will be treated fairly when they use our services.
“By displaying the Charter, we are reassuring people that NHS Ayrshire & Arran is a safe and supportive place for LGBT people.” The Charter has four levels – foundation for large corporate bodies; and Bronze, Silver and Gold for services within organisations to achieve separately. NHS Ayrshire & Arran achieved the foundation level for the organisation in 2016.
The Silver Award requires a service to cover additional things such as equal opportunity policies making reference to LGBT, group agreements, staff training, local resources with specific information on LGBT issues, and sharing learning with other partners.
John Burns, Chief Executive, adds: “On behalf of NHS Ayrshire & Arran, I would like to thank the staff in the Sexual Health Service team who worked hard to achieve this award.
“The award demonstrates our commitment to achieving the healthiest life possible for everyone in Ayrshire and Arran, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.”