The Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System (ICS) are celebrating Pride this June. A global celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community, Pride Month commemorates the Stonewall Riots that took place in June 1969 which inspired the historic gay liberation movement and the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights.
The NHS in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are joining with organisations across the world to celebrate LGBTQIA+ identity and call for increased inclusivity for all. Pride awareness opens opportunities for our LGBTQIA+ colleagues and patients/service users to seek and be provided with support.
Jo Bayliss, Co-Chair of the ICS LGBTQIA+ and Friends Network, said “We launched the staff network last year to provide a safe and supportive space as well as a forum of discussion for staff within the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies. We must continue to work together towards a better future for everyone in our workplaces and communities.
“Marking Pride month shows your colleagues and patients/service users that you are committed to LGBTQIA+ equality. However, it is also a time to reflect on the work still to do and understand the current challenges facing the community. While Pride month is just one month in a year, taking steps to foster a Pride-loving workplace is a whole year and day-to-day effort.”
Stacey Keegan, Interim Chief Executive of The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital said, “Being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community myself, I know how important it is to demonstrate that all patients and staff across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin feel safe and seen.
“I am encouraged by the work that Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin ICS are doing to support the LGBTQIA+ community by setting up a dedicated staff network to provide a safe space for people to come together. We see the network as a forum of discussion for staff within the community and their allies – a chance to share knowledge and to make a positive difference.
“Celebrating Pride Month gives us another chance to pause and reflect. I am proud of who I am and of how far we have come but there is more we still need to do, as a health system and as a society, to make sure that everyone is valued for who they are.”