PATIENTS at Oxford’s hospitals will now be treated by doctors and nurses wearing rainbow badges and lanyards to show they offer ‘open, non-judgmental and inclusive care’ to those who identify as LGBT+.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) workers have joined the national NHS Rainbow Badge movement for staff to wear the multi-coloured items, which feature the NHS logo superimposed over the pride flag.

Hundreds of staff took a few minutes out of their busy days to collect the badges and lanyards at events which took place at all four main OUH hospital sites - the John Radcliffe Hospital, Churchill Hospital and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Headington and the Horton General in Banbury last week.

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Jane Nicholson, interim chief people officer at the trust, said: “We aim to provide excellent care for our patients, with compassion and respect, and joining the NHS Rainbow Badge initiative is a great example of our commitment to a culture of openness and inclusion for our patients and staff.”

The campaign was created Dr Michael Farquhar, who is a sleep consultant at Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

He said: “I am delighted that staff at Oxford University Hospitals will be wearing NHS Rainbow Badges and lanyards to promote a positive message of inclusion and showing that their trust provides open and non-judgmental care to patients who identify as LGBT+.”

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He added: “The Rainbow Badges initiative has really captured the imagination of staff across the NHS, allowing a simple symbol to make a big difference.

“Our OUH colleagues will be joining a national movement to make the NHS a welcoming place for all patients and staff.”

Around 150,000 doctors, nurses, cleaners, surgeons, midwives and other health service staff have so far joined the scheme at trusts across the UK.

The Oxford trust’s adoption of the NHS Rainbow Badge initiative was made possible thanks to a successful bid by Tommy Snipe, OUH's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, and the trust’s LGBT+ Staff Network, to Oxford Hospitals Charity’s Small Grants Fund. The fund supports staff who have ideas to improve patient and staff experience.

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Other recent grants have funded communication boards for young craniofacial patients and light boxes featuring clouds in the John Radcliffe's heart centre to brighten the space.

Hazel Murray, head of programme at Oxford Hospitals Charity, said: “Our Small Grants Fund is designed to help take the ideas our hospital staff have for innovations and improvements and turn them into a reality.

“So we are very pleased to be able to support this new project to make LGBT+ staff and patients feel welcome and included across our hospitals.”