Dawn Stirk: LGBT+ resource

Rowcroft is committed to ensuring our services are appropriate, inclusive and equitable – which doesn’t necessarily equate to treating everybody in exactly the same way.

Earlier this year I researched communities that can find it hard to engage with healthcare services for a variety of reasons, including homeless people, gypsies and travellers, ethnic minority groups, LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual)+ people and people with autism, dementia or learning difficulties.

If we are to support all people well at end of life we need to appreciate the impact that any prejudice or misunderstanding they may have encountered in their lives may have had on them and their loved ones.

To help our staff and volunteers understand how to best support everyone, no matter their background, I realised my research could be developed into best practice resources.  Rowcroft agreed to support me to produce a first pilot resource focusing on supporting the LGBT+ community.

Clearly, it was vital that our new resource convey the thoughts and feelings of LGBT+ people and not my interpretation of their experiences. The content of this resource is gathered from published reports and research regarding the LGBT+ community, and direct quotes from individuals have been used to illustrate their experiences.

The resulting resource is called ‘Hearing the Voices of the LGBT+ Community’. To test that it’s a representative and helpful document, we asked staff to read it and feedback to us, as well as asking people from the LGBT+ community to check it for us. I am pleased to say the responses received were very positive.

The resource is now available to all staff via The Hive. Just log in as normal and click the box entitled ‘Hearing the Voices of the LGBT+ Community’ on the home page. This will take you to the resource page where you will also find, under ‘Further Learning’, a link to an e-elca module called ‘Culturally Sensitive Palliative and End of Life Care for LGBT People’.

Going forward we hope to have a page on The Hive where we can share support resources and non-mandatory education modules. For volunteers who are interested in the resource, please email me at dawn.stirk@rowcrofthospice.org.uk and I’ll share it with you.

If anyone has any feedback on the document, it will be much appreciated and can be sent to me via the above email address.

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