[Photo: members of the NHS Dumfries and Galloway Specialist Drug and Alcohol holding the LGBT Gold Charter Mark]
NHS Dumfries and Galloway is celebrating its status as the first organisation in Scotland to achieve not one, but three prestigious Gold Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Charter Mark Awards, thanks to the efforts of the Specialist Drug and Alcohol Service. Other NHS Dumfries and Galloway services include the Sexual Health Team in May 2016 and the Public Health team in 2013.
The LGBT Charter of Rights is a positive step towards challenging discrimination while promoting a more inclusive society. The latest award recognises the hard work and achievement of staff across the Specialist Drug and Alcohol Service, in making sure services are inclusive and welcoming of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
The service received recognition of best practice in a range of areas, including their work to build links with LGBT partner organisations and the transgender community, and creation of innovative resources for men who have sex with men.
Kerry Riddell, Partnerships Manager South for LGBT Youth Scotland, said:
“This is a fantastic achievement. NHS Dumfries and Galloway Specialist Drugs & Alcohol service have demonstrated to staff, service users and external stakeholders that they take LGBT equality seriously. Their work to promote their Charter journey has been exemplary and we look forward to continued partnership working to promote LGBT equality across.”
Justin Murray, Service Manager for NHS Specialist Drug and Alcohol Service, commented:
“As with all things worthwhile this was a testing piece of work which the staff group approached with a positive attitude and dedication. The charter mark process supported the Service to reflect and respect the issues people who identify themselves as LGBT, face when accessing Services. I am convinced this group of Service Users will now be better served as an outcome of achieving the LGBT Gold Charter Mark.”
Organisations who have gone through the charter journey describe it as a very positive experience resulting in a ‘big change in peoples’ attitudes’ with staff much more comfortable to discuss LGBT issues and identities, challenge inappropriate behaviour and feel more confident to work with LGBT people.