NHSScotland Pride Badge

The NHSScotland Pride badge was launched in June 2021. The badge was designed as a visual symbol, identifying its wearer as someone who LGBTQ+ people can feel comfortable talking to.

The badge signifies that those NHS staff who wear it are aware of the issues that LGBTQ+ people can face when accessing healthcare.

NHSScotland is determined to show progress in our support for the LGBT+ and minority-ethnic communities. LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and plus stands for all other sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sexual characteristics.

The NHSScotland Pride badge reflects our promise to be inclusive to multiple identities that fall under LGBT+ and minority-ethnic banners and create a safer and more equal NHS for patients, people who use our services and staff alike.

Our commitment includes, but is not limited to, the trans community – represented by white, pink and blue chevrons – and people from visible minority-ethnic groups – represented by black and brown chevrons.

Visible symbols of support are important. They are signposts of safety.

Those wearing the badge are pledging their support as allies for people in the LGBT+ and minority-ethnic communities. It is a commitment to speak up and take action against transphobia, homophobia, biphobia and racism within the NHS, whether it's against patients, people who use their services or staff.

One-in-four LGBT+ people have faced discrimination in healthcare settings. This discrimination increases if someone identifies with more than one marginalised group, for example, gender or race.

Using our voices to stand against prejudice is something all of us can commit to.

As a badge-wearer, you pledge to be a listening friendly and responsive ear to people in need, signposting them to organisations and local contacts who can provide more specific assistance. Sometimes you may need to call out hate speech, report incidents of discrimination, or acts of verbal or physical abuse.

Pledging your commitment and wearing your badge proudly helps promote an inclusive and supportive environment across NHSScotland, whether you're straight, LGBT+, or from a minority-ethnic group, we can all demonstrate our support by pledging our commitment towards the NHSScotland Pride badge.

Wear your badge with pride as an ally to progress.

LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and queer or questioning. The plus stands for all other sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sexual characteristics.

The NHSScotland Pride Badge

What the colours mean

The NHSScotland Pride Badge was designed to recognise the varied and intersectional issues of discrimination and exclusion within the wider LGBTQ+ community. It incorporates the colours of the Progress Flag.

The badge consists of:

  • the six-colour horizontal-striped rainbow flag, a symbol of the LGBTQ+ community first designed in 1979
  • black and brown arrow-shaped stripes to represent marginalised LGBTQ+ black and ethnic minority communities
  • pink, light blue and white arrow-shaped stripes, which make up the trans pride flag

Why we need the badge

According to Stonewall Scotland:

  • 1-in-5 LGBTQ+ people do not disclose their sexual orientation when seeking general medical care
  • 1-in-7 LGBTQ+ people avoid treatment for fear of discrimination
  • 46% of trans people tried to take their own life in the previous year, 31 per cent of LGB people who aren’t trans said the same
  • 41% of non-binary people said they had harmed themselves in the previous year, compared to 20% of LGBTQ+ women and 12% of GBTQ+ men

Read the 2018 LGBT in Britain: Health Report.

The Equality Network also found that almost every LGBTQ+ person in Scotland experiences prejudice and discrimination, and a quarter report discriminatory treatment when accessing services, according to their 2015 report.

Additionally, LGBTQ+ people face significant health inequalities when compared with non-LGBTQ+ people.

Aims of the initiative

When an individual signs up to wear the badge, they acknowledge why the project is needed and what their responsibilities are. This is that they are:

  • aware of and consider the impact of the issues faced by LGBTQ+ people accessing care
  • a safe person to talk to
  • someone who is prepared to listen
  • someone who uses inclusive language
  • someone who respects identity

Committing to the Pride Badge emphasises promoting an open, tolerant and inclusive environment. The initiative aims to break down barriers which LGBTQ+ people may face in the NHS and help make an organisation that is inclusive to all.

If you are already an NHSScotland employee and would like to find out more information about the Pride Badge, please contact the Equality and Diversity Team in your Health Board.

Wear your badge with pride as an ally to progress.

What does Pride Month mean to you?

We asked people who work in NHSScotland what Pride Month means to them.

Who we are

The NHS is the largest employer in Scotland. Our diverse and global workforce is one of our key strengths.