Stonewall is right in asserting the NHS has 'a long history of employing gays and lesbians' but unlike other minority groups, most remain invisible to their employers.
Stonewall is right in asserting the NHS has 'a long history of employing gays and lesbians' but unlike other minority groups, most remain invisible to their employers.

I came out as a gay doctor in the early 1980s, while still a senior registrar, and this did not inhibit me from.becoming a consultant, and latterly a clinical director and then a medical director, before I left the NHS five years ago.

However, I am in a very small minority, and most of my gay medical friends remain discreet in their approach to their employers, if not to colleagues. The legislation to give protection to gay people from discrimination at work is very recent, and it is hardly surprising if many choose to remain silent about their sexuality.

Positive attributes
Surely the time has come for the NHS to grasp the initiative, not only to root out homophobia but to start to celebrate the unique contributions of.its.many gay and lesbian staff. What attributes do gay people bring to their roles in.caring organisations which have made so many choose to work in them over the years?

Recent research in the US has sought to identify the positive attributes of gay managers. These show that gay managers bring attributes such as inclusion, creativity, adaptability, connectivity, communication, intuition and collaboration to their work which allows them to excel.

Isn't it about time the NHS learned to take advantage of its gay employees' unique skills for the benefit of the service as a whole, rather than thinking of them merely as a possibly.oppressed group? Some work in the NHS on the 'G Quotient' as part of the management development of staff might demonstrate such a commitment. I and my colleagues at Zenon Consulting would be happy to work with the service to see how this could be done.

Dr Mike Roddis, principal consultant, Zenon Consulting