Three of the region’s public-sector organisations have been named among Britain’s best employers for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) staff.
North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) NHS Foundation Trust came in at number 46, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust was in 65th and Northumbria Police was at 69 in Stonewall’s 2018 Workplace Equality Index, which lists the top 100 employers in the country.
NEAS chief executive, Yvonne Ormston, said: “We are really proud that the effort we’ve made over recent years to make services and employment opportunities more inclusive for LGBT people has been recognised in this way.
“As an emergency service which deals with the public on a daily basis, treating employees and patients fairly and according to their specific needs is one of our fundamental principles.”
Northumbria Healthcare has its own equality and diversity and LGBT lead and champion– Patrick Price.
The trust’s chief executive, Jim Mackey, said: “Our ranking has improved considerably this year, which is reflective of the strength of our staff network and our commitment to diversity in our workforce through engaging with staff and the public in order to improve the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people.”
Northumbria Police jumped almost 100 places to its highest-ever position, making it one of the top five police forces in the country for supporting LGBT officers and staff.
Deputy Chief Constable Darren Best said: “We want to make sure all of our officers and staff have support networks in place regardless of their age, gender, race or sexuality and this highlights the fantastic work which is being achieved.
“It is also a great testament to the work we are doing with LGBT+ communities in our region to make sure that they have confidence in us as a police force.
“Our LGBT+ Association has played a crucial role in this and established really strong relationships with members of the public to find out what we can do better as an organisation.”