The National Ambulance LGBT+ Network was established in 2015 after an event on 31 July at which representatives from all UK NHS ambulance services got together to look at how this could be co-ordinated. Within the first year the core group decided on the name and created the branding you see on the website today. The core group, which meets three times a year, also committed to provide an annual conference, bringing together LGBT+ staff from the different services and offering relevant professional development opportunities focussing on LGBT+ issues within the ambulance service.
A year later the first annual conference was held in Brighton and focussed on mental health, domestic violence and trans awareness. The conference was evaluated very well by the 90 delegates and the second one, which took place in 2017, offered and additional 60 places.
In the second year the core group have concentrated on developing a website to help communication between the different Trusts. It is envisaged this will become the central point for the Networks campaigning, and will also offer a vibrant resource bank for ambulance staff as well as offering channels of support.
One of the major benefits of the Network has been to bring people together. At Pride events we have seen staff cross service boundaries to ensure the ambulance presence is bigger than ever before. Different ambulance services are at differing stages of setting up and running their own staff networks, and an additional benefit is being able to provide support to less established groups and hopefully accelerate the progression of staff support mechanisms.