The rainbow flag flies from St Bartholomew’s Hospital for Pride Month to show the hospital’s commitment to creating a safe and inclusive space for LGBTQ+ patients and staff.
The flag, which flies from the hospital’s historic North Wing and overlooks the square, is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) pride.
The North Wing, houses two of England’s most important interiors, the Great Hall, and the Hogarth Stair with its large paintings by William Hogarth, together with the historic hospital archives and an extensive collection of artwork. The building will be part of the focus of the hospital's 900th celebrations and is being renovated by Barts Heritage.
These interiors and collections reflect 900 years of history since the hospital was established in 1123.
St Bartholomew’s LGBTQ+ and allies’ network co-lead, Darren Barnes said: “I’ve always believed the only way to consistently provide the highest possible level of care is through being truly inclusive.
“For me this means creating the right conditions for our staff at St Bartholomew’s to flourish and our patients to receive the services they need.
“As a staff member who identifies as LGBTQ+, I believe that our staff should always feel empowered and supported to come to work at St Bartholomew’s as their true and authentic self.”
In the last year St Bartholomew’s has created a network of LGBTQ+ ambassadors through the promotion of the NHS rainbow badge and lanyards.
The rainbow badge, when worn by staff will indicate they have signed a pledge declaring they are happy to be approached by any LGBTQ+ patient and their loved ones as a safe space for open communication and support.
The hospital is also commited to improving the way in which it delivers end of life care to LGBTQ+ patients.
With support from the palliative care team, the hospital has rolled out training on LGBTQ+ issues and end of life care to ensure that staff are equipped to deliver safe and compassionate care for these patients.