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Staff spotlight: attraction manager & LGBT+ network co-chair

Chas Brickland

Chas is our attraction manager, working within the recruitment team to help the Trust attract the best possible candidates to apply for our roles, through a range of marketing and communications activities. He is also co-chair of the staff LGBT+ network, helping to represent LGBT+ staff at University Hospital Southampton (UHS), provide a space where they can network, and work towards raising awareness of relevant LGBT+ matters within the organisation.

‘The LGBT+ network at the Trust has gone through significant changes over the last couple of years as the needs of our members have changed. We used to have regular meetings in which members could attend and bring any matters they wanted to discuss at the group, however trying to find a suitable time for us all to meet proved difficult when considering the wide range of staff shift patterns.

‘We have instead made use of the Trust’s internal social media platform to create an online group where a greater number of people can interact with the network. We also maintain our mailing list, giving staff who may not want to publicly join a group open to LGBT+ staff and allies a confidential way to keep in touch with the network.

‘Kerry and I continue to represent our LGBT+ staff and their interests at the Trust’s equality, diversity and inclusion steering group, helping to keep important matters like trans staff and patient policies on the agenda, and making sure that when strategic decisions are being made, any impact on LGBT+ staff is considered.

‘I’ve always felt that any issues I’ve raised in regards to LGBT+ staff have been taken seriously, that our staff group is considered during decision making, and that the senior leadership is committed to making UHS a place where everyone is welcome. I feel very privileged to work somewhere I have always felt comfortable to be myself and where I can play a role in making sure everyone has as positive experience as I have.

‘Over the next year, we’d like to see the network grow, organise some social meetups to give staff the chance to meet each other, and get the Trust involved in some of the great new initiatives that are launching – like the Rainbow NHS badge, which is given to staff who sign up to a set of principles around supporting LGBT+ staff and patients.

‘Any organisation of the size and complexity of UHS will have room for improvement, and I’d like to encourage anyone who’d like to find out more about the network or the support we can offer to contact me or Kerry – we’re always available to talk to if you need us.’

If you’d like to contact either Chas or Kerry about matters regarding the LGBT+ network at UHS, please email lgbt@uhs.nhs.uk.