LGBTQ+ Network

I take huge pride in the diversity of our staff and the fantastic skill, care and dedication they demonstrate every day.

— Dame Marianne Griffiths, Chief Executive Officer

Our LGBTQ+ Network is a volunteer-run group of LGBTQ+ staff and volunteers (plus allies).

Members come from all levels of the trust. Some have worked here for decades, some just a handful of weeks. The Network is diverse and inclusive – the ‘+’ is our way of acknowledging all sexual orientations and gender identities (including non-binary identities and intersex individuals).

The Network runs a wide range of social events throughout the year.  Members get involved with staff consultations and community events such as Pride. We’re dedicated to, and passionate about, making the experience of working here and providing care better all the time, and our LGBTQ+ Network is a key part of that effort.

The Network is run by a small group of dedicated individuals, who support the wider membership in making positive change across the trust to continually improve staff experience and safe patient care – our ‘True North’.  It meets with the Chief Workforce and Organisational Development Officer and Director of HR quarterly.

More information

Staff stories

What is your role at BSUH – and what does a typical day look like?

I’m the Medical Secretary in Paediatric Orthodontics in the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital.  I don’t really have a typical day but it’s busy, as you can imagine!

I am also the Lead for the Disabled Staff Network.  As part of that, I have been involved in the Workplace Disability Equality Standard consultation meetings and try to attend the Diversity Matters Steering Group Meetings.  That has been difficult recently as I never seem to have enough time!

On top of those things, I am also the Equalities Officer for the Central Sussex Hospitals UNISON Branch and, as you can imagine, that takes up a lot of time too.

What attracted you to work at BSUH?

I worked for Sussex Partnership prior to coming to BSUH and as I had been in that Trust for some time, I wanted a change.  That was a few years ago now and I have had a variety of roles within the trust.

I am proud of what BSUH does and how well respected it is in the community.  As a born and bred Brightonian it has always been ‘my’ hospital’.  I came here when I needed A & E treatment and I have three daughters who were all born in the Royal Sussex County Hospital.  I have had several hip operations at the Princess Royal Hospital so feel very secure that I understand the patient’s point of view as I am one!

You’re already an active Ally in our Network. Recently you became the Network’s Disability Special Correspondent – what inspired you to take on this role?

I have a disability myself, as does my daughter (who is gay) and nearly 1 in 8 of our LGBTQ+ colleagues state they have a disability (twice as many as for straight staff).

Becoming the Disability Special Correspondent is a way for me to use my lived experience within the LGBTQ+ Network to help voices of staff be heard.  Addressing issues of access and diversity has wider benefits for everyone within the LGBTQ+ Network, no matter how they identify.

(NB. Special Correspondents are BSUH colleagues who have an area of specialist knowledge about LGBTQ+ lived experience and who are using that specialist knowledge to help the trust continually improve inclusion for all LGBTQ+ people.)

What do you hope to achieve as Special Correspondent?

I hope that by being a Special Correspondent and a visible ally, I can help to make the Trust especially welcoming for LGBTQ+ folk who also have a disability.  I’m particularly looking to help the Trust ensure that information is available in a wide variety of formats (not just digital), and will be setting up fun events to bring people together, helping everyone’s voice to come through loud and clear.

I believe that most people want to have a work/life balance in a safe and inclusive space.  I know that when you have a disability and are part of the LGBTQ+ community, this can sometimes feel difficult to achieve.  My role will help the Network (and wider Trust) keep on top of any issues or areas of concern, as well as sharing best practice.

Work is just one part of our identities – what do you get up to away from the trust?

Two of my daughters still live at home and even now they are grown up, we all help out with running our household.  Just as well as I work full time and without their help it would be difficult for me on my own.

I also have a radio show under my alter ego called ‘Martha Swift’ and my show is on every week day from 2 – 3 pm and on Saturdays 2 – 4 pm on Seahavenfm (quick plug there!).  I have had the opportunity of interviewing some really interesting and famous people such as Gloria Gaynor, Candi Staton and many actors who appear at the Theatre Royal as I do the show reviews weekly for that local theatre too.

What would you say to someone who is LGBTQ+ and thinking about a career at BSUH?

We live in a city which is synonymous with vibrancy and have always had a diverse culture which has attracted people to live in our city.

Even when those who are LGBTQ+ would hesitate in putting down roots in a town, they would come to Brighton as it had the reputation of being a welcoming city.

BSUH has worked really hard to becoming an inclusive employer across all diversities and is demonstrating that by encouraging staff networks to evolve, such as the LGBTQ+ Network and the Disabled Staff Network.

By seeing that BSUH has supportive groups such as these, I hope current and potential future staff will feel welcome, included and happy in their workplace, and understand that the Trust is a truly inclusive employer.