“Affinity Care aims to enable and foster an inclusive culture where people can be their most authentic selves, giving them opportunity to thrive without fear of judgment. We value the differences we all have and embrace these for the rich ideas, backgrounds, and perspectives they give us.”
At Affinity Care we are dedicated to increasing our support and awareness of diversity and inclusion. We want everyone to be able to be themselves and feel comfortable and safe. This applies to all ages, disability, gender reassignment, marriage, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
We have a zero tolerance policy and the following behaviours will result in removal from our list:
- threatening or abusive language involving swearing or offence remarks
- derogatory racial or sexual remarks
- homophobic, biphobic or transphobic language or actions
- malicious allegations relating to members of staff, other patients or visitors
- offensive sexual gestures or behaviours
- abusing alcohol or drugs on practice premises
- drug dealing on practice premises
- wilful damage to practice property
- threats or threatening behaviour
Some of the areas that we have been doing work to support
In January 2021 Drs Hart and Hopkins underwent NHS Rainbow Badge Training from Bradford and Craven CCG. The NHS Rainbow Badge training started in Evelina’s Children Hospital in London to help make a positive difference by promoting a message of LGBT+ inclusion. This training has been replicated in NHS trusts across Britain. Stonewall and the LGBT Foundation are working together to help develop a standardised training scheme for all NHS Trusts and both Drs Hart and Hopkins have been involved in the focus group stage of development. Find out more about the NHS Rainbow Badge scheme.
Both doctors have also undertaken LGBT+ training from the RCGP and from these sessions they were able to conduct their own training for the rest of the staff. The staff who have completed this training have been asked to provide a pledge to express how they will support LGBT+ patients. Once they have provided this they are able to wear their NHS Rainbow Badge with pride.
In February 2021, which is LGBT+ History month, we conducted a twitter campaign to bring recognition to important LGBT+ issues and figures. We also had a further training session from Rosie, who works for the Bradford branch of MESMAC, which is one of the oldest and largest LGBT+ organisations in Britain.
Sunnybank Medical Practice has been part of a pilot scheme in Bradford to undergo Pride in Practice training from LGBT Foundation. We are currently awaiting the final grading.
In April 2021 we conducted a study for our LGBT+ patients to evaluate how well they feel our organisation makes them feel comfortable and supported and asking for suggestions on how to improve our services. We will be using these suggestions to ensure we offer better support for these patients.
We have updated our LGBT+ policies and now have one to help staff support patients who want to change their gender marker, pronoun, title or name on our systems, as well as updating our zero tolerance and confidentiality policies to specifically mention trans and other LGBT+ patients. We are also finalising a Trans Equality Policy.
- Bradford Branch MESMAC – Bradford Branch of one of the oldest and biggest LGBT+ organisations
- Equity – organisation working with and for Bradford’s LGBT+ communities
- Mermaids – support for gender-diverse children, young people and their families
- Albert Kennedy Trust – a voluntary organisation serving LGBT+ young people who are homeless, living in a hostile environment or in housing crisis
- Hidyah – a nationwide organisation for LGBT+ Muslims in the UK
- Terrence Higgins Trust – national services and campaigns in relation to HIV and sexual health
- Stonewall – LGBT+ rights charity
- LGBT Foundation – a national charity delivering advice, support and information services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) communities
Veteran Friendly Practices
All our practices are accredited with being Veteran Friendly Practices. This is just one of several initiatives being undertaken to improve NHS care for the Armed Forces community (which includes serving personnel, regulars and reserves, veterans and their families).
The accreditation consists of five elements:
- We ask patients registering with the surgery if they have ever served in the British Armed Forces.
- We then code it on the GP computer system.
- We have a clinical lead on veterans in each practice.
- This clinical lead is required to undertake dedicated training, attend training events (RCGP or other provider), stay up to date with the latest research and innovations and ensure that the practice is meeting the health commitments of the Armed Forces Covenant. They are also available to provide advice to colleagues, as well as possibly seeing veterans themselves.
- All our practices have a CQC ‘good’ rating.
If you are a veteran, please let your practice know and we can offer you advice on support that is available to you.
Dementia Friendly Practices
We are currently reviewing the our practices in order to make them more dementia friendly, based on the Alzheimer’s society guidance (pdf).
The Affinity Care Community Partnership is working with The Alzheimer’s Society to help make Greengates and Clayton Dementia Friendly, with the hops we can make more of our local communities dementia friendly over time.
Later in the year we have some training planned with The Alzheimer’s Society on making our staff Dementia Friends, so that we can all understand how to better support patients with Dementia, and their support networks.
Patients who need interpreters
Covid has meant a big change to how many face to face appointments we can offer. Although this number is slowly increasing, we have produced a policy on how to support patients who need interpreters, either over the phone or face to face. This may be due to English being a second language or due to having a hearing impairment and using British Sign Language. This means that these patients can have the best care, rather than having to wait, potentially days, in order to have a consultation with a clinician.
Patients with hearing impairment
We have constructed a booklet of basic medical and everyday signs at every practice, so our staff can reference these for short contacts with patients who use British Sign Language to communicate. The signs include greetings, days of the week, the alphabet and numbers, as well as some basic medical signs, e.g. blood pressure and nurse.
We have been in touch with BTM (formally Bradford Talking Media) and have some training planned for later in the year to teach all staff about how to support patients with hearing impairment and the barriers they face, as well as teaching staff 12 commonly used signs, in order to help us communicate more easily with, and better understand the needs of, these patients.
Refugees, undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers
All of our practices are signed up to be Safe Surgeries. Refugees, asylum seekers, victims of trafficking, and other vulnerable people can be scared to seek medical attention and this has serious health consequences. Pregnant women avoid antenatal care, as well as cancer sufferers and parents with unwell children who are afraid to see a doctor. Ten percent of these patients already do not access NHS services because they fear arrest. By being Safe Surgeries we can ensure that some of our most vulnerable patients get the best care we can give.