PERFORMANCE: Sussex Partnership has come top in the first ever Healthcare Equality Index, published by Stonewall to measure an organisation’s commitment to delivering services to the lesbian, gay and bisexual community.

The Healthcare Equality Index has been developed as a tool for the NHS to benchmark and track its progress on equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual patients, service users, families and carers and highlight areas where improvements can be made.

It is part of Stonewall’s Health Champions programme, funded by the Department of Health. We are one of 20 Health Champions in the programme.

The FT highlighted a number of initiatives it had carried out that had contributed to the top ranking:

  • Informed and engaged with the LGB community about service changes and standards
  • Delivered a dedicated outreach team at Brighton Pride – Delivering evidence based support to the community
  • Appointed a dedicated LGB&T specific Teen to Adult Personal Advisor (TAPA) who provides outreach work in Brighton and Hove at a young people’s youth centre
  • Developed and distributed LGB specific health promotion posters to create affirmative environments across our 120 sites
  • Collected and analysed data and research from local sources to develop service access, awareness and improvement
  • Promoted sexual orientation equality in the workplace for several years as a way of helping staff deliver the best possible patient care
  • Led the way on staff training on lesbian, gay and bisexual equality and health needs

Trust chief Executive Lisa Rodrigues said: “We are all delighted to be awarded the number one position in the Healthcare Equality Index. This is a recognition of our commitment to equality and to the hard work by all our people, our patients and our partners.”

In 2012 the trust also became the highest-ever placed NHS organisation, fourth overall, in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index.