Health and Social Care

Sector OverviewHealth - BSUH - logo

The health and social care sector offers people the chance to develop their career in a stimulating and rewarding environment, which contributes to the health and wellbeing of others. The roles and opportunities available within this sector are hugely diverse; they include running NHS Trusts and social care services, commissioning or delivering health services, frontline patient and service user work, and specialist services.

The best organisations in this sector consider the needs of their LGBT patients and service users, while also taking steps to secure LGBT equality for their staff. They support LGBT staff by having senior champions, vibrant staff network groups, visible signs of inclusion in the workplace. Many also collaborate with other local and national organisations to further the reach of their LGBT inclusion work.

A career in the health and social care sector is a fantastic opportunity to challenge yourself and positively impact the lives of others.

What staff in the sector told us
“The workplace culture in my organisation is inclusive of trans people” – 49% of LGBT employees said yes
“I would feel comfortable disclosing my sexual orientation to my colleagues” – 52% of LGB employees said yes
“Senior managers in my organisation demonstrate visible commitment to trans equality” – 39% of LGBT employees said yes
“If I was a victim of homophobic and biphobic bullying and harassment, I would feel confident in reporting it to my employer” – 81% of LGB employees said yes

2018 Workplace Equality Index statistics

70% have communicated information about LGBT staff network group and allies’ activity to all employees
In their policies, 62% have an explicit ban on discrimination
based on sexual orientation and 63% have an explicit ban on discrimination based on gender identity

Health and Social Care Section supported by Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

In Focus

Janet Lee, Children’s Critical Care Practitioner, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS TrustHealth - Janet Lee

As an LGBT person, what’s it like working in the health sector?

It’s got better over the years. I’m a paediatric critical care practitioner and there used to be a lot of distrust of LGBT people working with children. Nowadays, I feel valued for who I am as a person and a professional. I’m involved in the LGBT network group at BSUH, because
it’s important we support each other and share best practice. It ensures all staff feel valued and that everyone who uses our services is recognised and welcomed.

At work, how do you think being LGBT relates to other parts of your identity?

It’s a core part of my identity, in and out of work. I’m a lesbian, Jewish, the parent of a trans woman and of a disabled young person. My feminism threads through all the core parts of my identity.

What advice would you give to an LGBT person thinking about a career in the health sector?

Being you is just brilliant and you don’t need to hide it. Be open, get involved, expect to be valued and, if things don’t feel right, make sure they’re challenged.

Olivia King, Equality Adviser, Brighton and Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust

Health - Olivia King
What’s it like working in the health sector?

Most people have contact with the NHS at some point, so healthcare provides great scope to contribute to positive changes for LGBTQ+ people of all ethnicities, age groups, disabilities and genders. Being a lesbian is one aspect of being me which is bound up in other things, such as being a person of colour, a woman, femme, having a disability, being a migrant. I’m able to use my lived experience to enhance my knowledge of equality
legislation. This adds value to the work I do and enables me to develop thought-provoking training resources from an intersectional standpoint, which I feel is important.

What’s it like being LGBT at BSUH?

I don’t have to worry about hiding my sexual orientation or negating my experiences about being LGBT. This is important because I can focus my emotional, intellectual and psychological energy on the work itself. Being visible gives me the freedom to be myself without self-censorship and empowers others.

Jonathan O’Keefe, Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Brighton and Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust

Health - Jonathan O'Keefe
How did you come to work in the health sector and what does your current job involve?

I trained as a general nurse in Ireland and got my first job as a renal adult nurse. I completed my MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice and am now an Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (ANNP). I assess, plan and implement the care of newborn children.

What’s the best thing about working at BSUH?

It’s friendly, it’s in Brighton, it’s by the sea. Not to mention the opportunity to develop into the practitioner I am today, with the support of the amazing consultants I work with. BSUH supports staff in their development, whatever their ambitions.

What advice would you give to an LGBT person thinking about a career in your sector?

Never let anyone in life tell you that you can’t do something. In my academic life I was told multiple times to consider other career paths, as it was deemed unlikely I’d get the grades to get into university. I proved them all wrong.