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’s your role?

I don’t think there is an average day for a Chair. As it says on the label, I chair the Board – for BSUH and for the Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. We meet separately because we’ve got separate governance arrangements. I have to make sure that we govern according to the requirements of those bodies. I have to ensure that the board and governance in the organisation works really well. I also have an external ambassadorial role and I need to make sure we are meeting regularly and making connections with other organisations. I have to satisfy the regulators as well. So it’s pretty broad. The bit that really interests me is meeting staff. I just love meeting staff, and I don’t get to do that as much as I’d like.

Why did you get involved with the LGBTQ+ Network?

I chaired the Trust’s first LGBTQ+ inclusion conference. I’ve been associated with LGBTQ+ for a long time. I’m Brighton born and bred. My background is civil engineering and I spent several years away, building motorways and so on, in the Midlands. Then I came back and ended up in Brighton and Hove City Council, eventually becoming Chief Exec.  We used to pride ourselves that we did embrace diversity quite seriously. We were number three on the Stonewall equality index. I also went on what I believe was the first Stonewall equality walk in Brighton. I have seen a huge change. We’ve never really embraced diversity in the way that we do now. I think as a city we have embraced diversity pretty well. It’s a great place to live and work.

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

I think it’s set up really well here. We’ve got the network now which is good and is becoming more and more established. There’s no doubt there has been stigma in the past. But I don’t get any sense of that in BSUH at all. The execs and non-execs on the Board are really encouraged by the whole agenda and the fact that people are feeling able to be open and talk about issues the way that we do as an organisation. I think it’s fantastic. I wouldn’t come to an organisation that wasn’t embracing diversity the way BSUH is at the moment.