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?

My speciality is making orthodontic appliances for children.  This includes fixed braces and removable devices helping those young people have the healthiest possible mouths.  I also have done lot of work for babies with cleft palates, creating appliances for patients as young as two weeks.

I also do the surgical planning for patients who are having their jaws broken and reset.  Everything is constructed in plaster first, and then I make a plastic stent so that it’s clear where the jaws need to go when the patient is having their treatment.

This surgical side is relatively new to my career story, but I love it.

What attracted you to BSUH?

Previously, I was working for one of the biggest London NHS Trusts and initially wanted somewhere closer to home where I could find a better work/life balance.   I love living beside the sea, so BSUH was a natural place to find work.

Now that you’ve been here for a few years, how have you found the BSUH experience?

This is a trust which has a real passion for its workforce and really values its staff.  Wherever you look, the trust is doing things to make the experience of its staff better.  There’s a Disabled Staff Network, lots of support, staff engagement, and plenty of training on offer.  I’ve really found that this is somewhere that offers far more than just a ‘turn up, work, go home, sleep, repeat’ lifestyle.

Then, of course, there’s the LGBTQ+ Network.

What inspired you to get involved in the LGBTQ+ Network?

Starting at BSUH was my first real exposure to the LGBTQ+ community.  Everywhere else I’ve worked, the community has been there, but it hasn’t been as visible.  Since arriving in Brighton, I’ve met so many people in community.  I’ve made friends and heard first-hand about the problems and issues they face on a daily basis.  This made me want to help.

I’m delighted to be working on the trust’s involvement in Pride 2020, and am starting on the ‘Super Allies’ programme which is going to launch more widely in the New Year.

How do you experience your ally-ship to the LGBTQ+ community of staff and patients?

I believe that everyone needs to help one another – that’s why I wanted to become an ally.

I’m passionate about helping people to find their voice, and finding opportunities to add mine to theirs.   I wanted to help the people I was getting to know, address issues, and help to cast a light on anything which didn’t seem right.

I feel that we are all equal and should be treated equally.  I’ve relied on people to help me in the past with disability related issues, so I wanted to help others by becoming a visible ally within the LGBTQ+ Network.

You’ve mentioned improving your work/life balance by coming to BSUH.  What do you do away from the hospital?

I’m someone who always has to be learning or doing something.  I’m currently partway through an NHS Apprenticeship in management, qualified as a reflexologist a few years ago and am an avid reader with several books on the go at once.

I also have a real interest in what used to be called ‘new age’ things.  I’ve got a meditation area in the garden (summer use only!) and really enjoy holidays with friends to places like Avebury in Wiltshire.  My partner and I also follow motorbike racing and attend the British round at Silverstone every year.  We also like to go out on our Yamaha R1 when the weather allows!

When I get a chance, I also enjoy yoga and have appreciated the classes that the trust puts on for staff as they’re so good at making allowances for anyone with a disability.

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

Don’t hesitate!

This trust is making huge efforts to remove barriers for its staff and patients, to be more understanding, to make things more equal for everyone and to support everyone, no matter what they need.

I genuinely feel that this is a really good place to work, and especially if you’re LGBTQ+.  There’s always something positive happening.