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Western Isles health chiefs are supporting equality by signing up to a national Pride Pledge initiative.
In a bid to break down barriers and promote a health service that is inclusive for all NHS Scotland has created a new initiative that all staff can sign, to show they will promote a message of inclusion, speak up and challenge intolerance.
, and Chief Executive, Gordon Jamieson, are both backing the campaign.
Everyone who signs up will receive a Pride Badge, created by NHS Scotland, which identifies wearers as someone who an LGBT+ or minority ethnic person can feel comfortable talking to.
Rev. T.K. Shadakshari, NHS Western Isles Strategic Diversity Lead, said: ‘Every NHS Scotland Board now has a designated contact for recording the LGBT Pledge and distributing the LGBT Support Badges.
‘The Equality Network found that almost every LGBT+ person in Scotland experiences prejudice and discrimination, and a quarter report discriminatory treatment when accessing services.
‘Seventy one percent of LGBT+ people will hide their identity when accessing services for fear of prejudice they might face.’
The scheme is entirely voluntary and it is only after signing the Pledge, with its willingness to be a supportive LGBT ally, that the Badge will be issued to the member of staff by Rev. Shadakshari who is the local Board Contact.
When an individual signs up to wear a badge, they acknowledge why the project is needed, and what their responsibility involves.
Caroline Lamb, Chief Executive of NHS Scotland and Director General for Health and Social Care, Scottish Government, said: ‘Racism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and any form of bigotry has no place in our NHS.
‘Our Health system is based on the core values of care, compassion, openness, honesty, dignity and respect for everyone, irrespective of their individual identities.
‘The #NHSScotlandPride Badge re-enforces this message and showcases our commitment to foster an environment that is open, tolerant and inclusive for all. I will proudly wear my badge as an ally to progress, I encourage everyone to do the same.’