NHS Dumfries and Galloway are celebrating its status as the first organisation in Scotland to achieve not one but four prestigious GOLD Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Charter Mark Award thanks to the efforts of the Adult Speech and Language Therapy. Other NHS Dumfries and Galloway services include the Specialist Drug and Alcohol Service in March 2017, Sexual Health Team in May 2016 and the Public Health team in 2013.
NHS Dumfries and Galloway Speech and Language Therapy Adult Service have become the fifth organisation across Scotland to receive the prestigious GOLD LGBT Charter Mark Award. The award was presented to the team on Wednesday 30 August 2017, by Kerry Riddell, LGBT Youth Scotland’s Partnership Manager.
Inspired by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the LGBT Charter is a positive step towards challenging discrimination while promoting a more inclusive society. 12 organisations have been awarded the Charter Mark in Dumfries and Galloway and those who have gone through the Charter journey describe it as a very positive experience resulting in a ‘big change in peoples’ attitudes’ with staff much more comfortable to discuss LGBT issues and identities, challenge inappropriate behaviour and feel more confident to work with LGBT people. Achieving the Charter Mark has also been shown to result in impact for wider equality with organisations saying that the breadth of the Charter Journey leads to a much more united voice and consistent practice around all aspects of equalities work.
NHS Dumfries and Galloway Speech and Language Therapy received recognition for best practice in a range of areas, including their work to develop specific resources and processes for transgender people, their active engagement with LGBT partner organisations and the transgender community, promotion of their Charter journey through national networks and conferences and the development of a working group for improving NHS Dumfries and Galloway services for transgender people.
Kerry Riddell, Partnerships Manager South for LGBT Youth Scotland, said,
“This is a fantastic achievement. NHS Dumfries and Galloway Speech and Language Service have demonstrated to staff, service users and external stakeholders that they take LGBT equality seriously. Their LGBT Charter journey has been outstanding; they have instigated many areas of very good practice and comprehensive change to the service as well as positively influencing many others within the NHS. We look forward to continued partnership working to promote LGBT equality.”
Laura Lennox, Speech and Language Therapist and LGBT champion for NHS Dumfries and Galloway added,
“We are going forward with the charter by forming a good practice group with other NHS services in Dumfries and Galloway who have also completed the charter of rights with the aim of providing more cohesive and inclusive health and social care for LGBT people. At this stage, we are thrilled to have undergone and reflected on our LGBT charter of rights journey.”