NHS Rainbow badges launched across the UK

Posted on Friday 21st February 2020
A NHS Rainbow Badge shaped blimp at the Pride parade in London

A blimp in the shape of a NHS rainbow badge balloon at London's Pride parade

Seven in ten hospital trusts in England are introducing NHS rainbow badges to promote a message of inclusion.

Dr Mike FarquharNHS Rainbow Badges were first developed at Evelina London. Following a successful pilot, they are now being proudly worn by almost 5,000 staff across Guy’s and St Thomas’ and many more NHS staff beyond the Trust.

Launched in February 2019 to mark LGBT+ History Month, here’s just some of the achievements of the initiative one year on:

  • 73% of NHS Trusts in England have launched or are planning to launch the badges for their staff.
  • 90% of NHS trusts in England have requested a toolkit developed by Evelina London and designed to support other organisations to roll out the scheme.
  • 90% of staff at Guy’s and St Thomas’ have reported that the badges are having a positive impact, according to an internal survey.
  • Comments from staff wearing the badge include:

An Evelina London nurse holding an NHS Rainbow Badge“Great idea, helps bond with colleagues and make people feel it’s ok to be open.”

“I think it’s definitely raised awareness and tackled some kind of stigma, I have seen a warm reception from LGBT+ patients.”

“It's been amazing. A real statement maker. People are aware of what it means and have felt less anxious.”

  • The Guy’s and St Thomas’ LGBT+ staff network joined the 2019 Pride in London march under a giant NHS Rainbow Badge blimp with a great reception from the crowds.
  • The initiative has been recognised at industry awards including picking up a Gold award at the Corporate Content Awards 2020 for "Best content-driven brand created community" and a commendation in the Rainbow Honours 2019 for best "Marketing campaign".

Information about NHS rainbow badges that is provided to the staff who wear them.The badge showing an NHS logo superimposed on the rainbow pride flag can be worn on lanyards or uniforms. They are designed to promote a message of inclusion and are a sign that the wearer is someone you can talk to about issues of sexuality and gender identity.

When staff sign up to wear the badge they are provided with information about the challenges people who identify as LGBT+ can face accessing healthcare and what they can do to support them.

Find out more about NHS Rainbow Badges

LGBT+ stands for lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender and the + means that we are inclusive of all identities, regardless of how people define themselves.

Dr Anne Gordon holding a NHS Rainbow BadgeThe NHS rainbow badge scheme was funded by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity. 

Survey results and comments were taken from a Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Rainbow Badge staff survey conducted in 2019.