Posted on Tuesday 3 March 2020
Head of security Jayne King with Lord Michael Cashman
Actor, activist and politician Lord Michael Cashman visited Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust to mark LGBT+ History Month.
The Guy’s and St Thomas’ LGBT+ Network hosted two events to show support for staff and patients of all sexualities and gender identities. The network formed over 10 years ago to represent LGBT+ staff at key Trust meetings and to offer support and advice in the workplace.
Lord Michael Cashman made headlines, as well as history, as part of the first same sex kiss on British television on EastEnders in the 1980s. He has had a distinguished career in which he co-founded the charity Stonewall, became an MEP and currently sits in the House of Lords.
LGBT+ Network co-founder Jayne King said: “It was wonderful for Lord Michael Cashman to attend our LGBT+ History Month event at St Thomas’. Our LGBT+ Network gives a voice to our LGBT staff and patients and to be joined by Michael, who has been doing the same for the whole country throughout his career, was a source of great pride.
“Having Michael with us is a great reminder of the incredible progress that has been achieved, while keeping us motivated to ensure that staff and patients of all sexualities and genders feel represented.”
Giving a speech to attendees, Lord Cashman praised doctors and nurses at Guy’s and St Thomas’ who treated both him and his late husband Paul Cottingham. Lord Cashman also met staff and patients and signed copies of his new memoir One of Them, which were donated by his publisher Bloomsbury.
More than £200 was raised at the event for Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, which helps to provide the big things and small touches that make our life-saving care even better and help our patients and their families feel really looked after.
At the events, over 170 staff members pledged their support for LGBT+ staff and patients by signing up for an NHS Rainbow Badge. The scheme was developed by Evelina London a year ago and has since been rolled out to over 70% of NHS trusts in England.
The badge is an NHS logo superimposed on the rainbow pride flag and can be worn on lanyards or uniforms. They promote a message of inclusion and are a sign that the wearer is someone you can talk to about issues of sexuality and gender identity.
When staff sign up to wear the badge they are provided with information about the challenges people who identify as LGBT+ can face accessing healthcare and what they can do to support them.