Having seen Matt Hancock sporting an NHS rainbow badge on TV I wondered if he actually had any idea as to its origin or purpose, or whether he was just wearing it as rainbows have now become synonymous with the NHS?
I couldn’t help wondering also if his wearing the badge and the proliferation of rainbows being used as a show of support for NHS staff might obstruct or dilute the actual purpose and message of the NHS rainbow badge scheme?
Some people are of the opinion, as seen here, that the rainbow badge is being used to denote or show solidarity for NHS staff who are part of the LGBT+ community or an ally, and whilst some of the staff wearing these badges may well be part of the community or allies, it’s important to remember that not all identify as being part of the LGBT+ community.
The NHS rainbow badge is a symbol that the NHS is an open, non-judgemental and inclusive place for people that identify as LGBT+ and that a badge-wearing member of NHS staff is a safe person to talk to for any patient or staff member to obtain support or advice on anything relating to LGBT+ matters.
The badge is a symbol that you can talk to NHS staff about who you are and how you feel. They will do their best to get support for you if you need it.
Initially the badges and the ability to talk, advise and support were aimed at young patients but anyone can talk to a badge-wearer in confidence and safety and in the knowledge that they will not be judged.
Badge-wearers are committed to a course of training and a pledge to provide unbiased, non-judgemental support to anyone identifying as LGBT+ before they are issued a badge.
For more info see the Evelina London page. Home of the NHS rainbow badge.