The first LGBT+ staff suvey was conducted in June 2018 by the National Ambulance LGBT+ Network. A total of 443 respondents took part and included representatives of every NHS Ambulance Trust. Social media was used to promote the survey in addition to the individual efforts of LGBT+ Networks within each Trust. The results provide a valuable insight into life as an LGBT+ person within NHS Ambulance Trusts.
The key findings of the report are:
- We are confident that our survey provides an accurate reflection of the experiences of LGBT+ people who work in the Ambulance Service. 443 responses were generated.
- It is clear that bisexual and trans people have a significantly worse experience than lesbian and gay people.
- Almost half of LGBT+ people reported experiencing ‘negative behaviours’ because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Most of these behaviours were initiated by patients and colleagues and took the form of comments, name calling and banter. Incidences of physical violence are very rare.
- Although the majority of people are aware of support mechanisms and staff networks, less than half the respondents reported being able to get support from their management teams.
- The survey found little difference in the experiences of operational and non-operational staff.
- Almost two thirds of lesbian and gay respondents felt able to be ‘out’ at work. This figure reduces significantly for trans people and even more for bisexual colleagues.
- Awareness of the existence of staff networks is good but many people reported not knowing what their function was and have difficulty getting to events.
- It is clear staff networks need to do more to promote their purpose to the workforce and learn from experiences to make them more inviting for people to attend.
- Despite other factors 95% of LGBT+ people report feeling safe working for the Ambulance Services. 81% would recommend the service as an employer to family and friends.
- There were a large number of suggestions as to how Trusts can make the lives of LGBT people better. This includes better awareness raising of the issues for LGBT+ people, better advice to managers dealing with LGBT+ issues and a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to negative behaviours from the public.