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One simple way to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ health inequalities

When the Isle of Wight NHS Trust asked Oakley Coaching to host a seminar on LGBTQ+ health inequalities we were delighted to be working so closely with a Trust that is already doing so much for the LGBTQ+ community, and help them further their learning and progress their efforts with more specific understanding of the health challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community.

As a result of our initial training with the Trust and conversations with their LGBTQ+ network, we are proud to have received overwhelmingly positive feedback and see the commitment the Trust has made in improving the experiences of the LGBTQ+ community when accessing healthcare services on the Island. We spoke to Katie Bond, Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion to hear how things have progressed for the Trust since our seminar in May 2022.

“A recent CQC inspection of the Isle of Wight NHS Trust recommended that our Trust should ensure the service considers the needs of patients from the LGBT+ community and complies with the requirements of the Equality Act. This was something already at the forefront of our minds and by working closely with Philippa and Rhiannon from Oakley Coaching they produced and delivered a seminar that would fulfil that need. We were not disappointed.

Katie continues, “As an integrated Trust with a passion for collaborative working on the Island, and beyond, we invited our partnership organisations and colleagues from the Clinical Commissioning Group, Council and local police, as well as our own workforce, including members of our LGBT+ Staff Network.

“As a result of this seminar and ongoing work in this area, we have increased our understanding of the concerns the LGBT+ community have around historical discrimination, structural inequalities, health inequalities, data protection and interpersonal communication that need to be thoughtfully and respectfully considered. Following the seminar, we have identified key areas to continue to improve our services, including affirming and empathic communication, avoiding careless practice that impacts our patients’ experience, and ensuring our staff are trained to respect individual needs. Ultimately we wanted to ensure all our patients feel comfortable and safe in our care.

“The Oakley Coaching seminar was warmly received and the feedback has been fantastic. It’s without doubt put this topic firmly on our agenda and we can use the recording as an ongoing resource, which will help us continue on our journey to become a CQC ‘Outstanding’ organisation. The seminar was well timed as I was pleased to see that one of our wards took the time to create a ‘Pride Wall’ for Pride month which was on display in the communal area – these are new developments which are great to see.

“I think having the expertise of Philippa has helped us all to address the subject with confidence. With the addition of Oakley Coaching’s lived-experience and Philippa being a healthcare professional herself really validates the training and gives a far deeper insight into the issues our LGBT+ community have experienced.

“We have an exciting ongoing project with Rhiannon and Philippa to continue to improve the experience we provide to our LGBT+ patients, our staff and our Island Community. I’m looking forward to expanding on our learning and training with Oakley Coaching.”

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