June is a key month for the LGBTQ+ community as we celebrate Pride month.
Colleagues from our LGBT+ network have positioned some banners around the organisation to share just how much we recognise and value diversity here at Gateshead Health.
We will all recognise, from a moral and ethical perspective, how important it is to value and encourage diversity in society and the workplace. Not everyone though will realise just how important diversity is for us as a healthcare provider, in terms of improving patient experience and outcomes. There are stacks of evidence that show that when we have a diverse workforce, we get the opportunity to embrace more perspectives, experiences and values. We get the opportunity to learn from others who might have had different life experiences to us and we can apply that learning and compassion to our patients and colleagues.
We are all different, and here at Gateshead Health, our message and our values are clear, diversity is not only important to us – it is a driver for us. We encourage diversity, we welcome differences, and we want to learn. We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind and there is no place for poor behaviours here at Gateshead Health.
I will be working closely with all of our networks to help us to describe this better and to help all of our staff to have the tools and ability to be allies and advocates for all, so that everyone feels welcome and safe to be who they are and to be the best of who they are.
I accompanied my daughter to see Harry Styles in Edinburgh recently, the reason for mentioning it, is that the environment created at that concert was one of complete inclusivity. 65,000 people enjoyed a fabulous night of nothing but fun. People of all communities joined together to enjoy being who they are. Harry started the evening by asking everyone to celebrate their differences, to be who they want to be, to dress to express themselves, dance to be happy, sing, have fun and not to judge.
Now I wish I could give that message to everyone at Gateshead Health, but we do have to wear uniforms and we can’t spend all day everyday singing and dancing – but we can empower each other and we can celebrate our differences and sing just a little bit. Be yourselves, be kind and be a little bit Gateshead (because we are all special).