Dumfries and Galloway NHS- Operations Directorate achieved their Foundations Award. In order to achieve this, they targeted staff that would not have ordinarily had the opportunity to engage with equality and diversity issues. This included domestic, catering and transport staff, as well as other trades including plumbers and joiners. To begin with, some staff had worries and concerns with getting involved with the charter as they were uncomfortable talking about LGBT identities. They are now all very involved in the process and easily discuss and consider issues relevant to LGBT people.

The General Manager of the directorate was very vocal and supportive throughout the charter journey and the champions group included staff from all departments within the directorate. The directorate undertook fun, informative and varied approaches to engaging staff in the charter process whether through lunchtime drop-ins with information, leaflets, quizzes and prize draws, to information on payslips, quizzes with other departments during LGBT History Month, or an active newsletter including photos of drop-ins, links to LGBT-specific resources, or light hearted yet informative articles on LGBT history.

As part of continuing actions highlighted as a result of undertaking the LGBT Charter of Rights process, the Estates Department within the Operations Directorate is now working towards the Bronze Charter Mark.  This department continues to be very communicative with LGBT Youth Scotland throughout this process. One example is in linking with LGBT community groups; inviting staff and service users from the Dumfries & Galloway LGBT Centre to comment on designs for the new hospital. This engagement was so successful that they then invited other equalities groups to comment on the plans as well.

Greyfriar’s Medical Practice was the first GP surgery to achieve the LGBT Charter of Rights. To begin their work towards the award, they undertook a survey with LGBT people to discuss their experiences of primary care, which was then used to inform their action plan and guide their actions throughout. The timing of this is important as it ensured that they did not make assumptions about needs when beginning and that information was not gathered too late in the process to influence change.

In order to ensure that LGBT perspectives were part of discussions within the patient forum, a service user from Dumfries & Galloway LGBT Centre was invited to take part and to act as a formal link between the forum and the centre.

The practice reviewed staff and locum policies to ensure that they met the standards set out in the Equality Act 2010 and as a result, amongst other changes, they removed unnecessarily gendered wording in the staff uniform policy.

Dumfries and Galloway Health and Wellbeing (Public Health Department) was the first organisation to achieve the Gold standard Charter Mark. To begin the process, the department’s large champions group created a strong action plan employing a traffic light system that indicated progress on each step. This form has since been shared with other directorates, organisations and institutions. Many of their good practice examples were awareness raising for staff on LGBT identities, and outreach activities with LGBT community members to engage with health issues.

The department worked with the workforce directorate to update policies and created a draft transgender policy and equal opportunities policy. They also developed a briefing paper for all NHS staff on the importance of engaging with LGBT people and how to monitor patient sexual orientation and gender identity.

Gen Silent, a film on LGBT people’s experiences of aging and entering into the care sector, was screened three times within health venues during lunchtime. This was attended by staff within the public health department as well as other departments.

They worked closely with the Dumfries & Galloway LGBT Centre to engage LGBT people in health initiatives: conducted Keep Well checks at the centre for LGBT people who may not regularly engage with healthcare, spoke to the transgender group on general health issues and the Keep Well initiative, and supplied pedometers to the LGBT Centre’s staff and service users. The department supported the centre through the Bronze level of Healthy Working Lives and they have now progressed onto the silver.