Reflections on National LGBT Conference

EEAST LGBT Conference 2019

Liam Ferris, Tactical Assistant in the PVSH (People Vehicle Support Hub), shares his experience of attending the National LGBT Conference: 

“On 10th October 2019, I and other members of staff from EEAST, and all the UK ambulance services, attended the National Ambulance LGBT Conference, which this year was hosted by West Midlands Ambulance Service in Birmingham.

This year’s theme was “intersectionality within the LGBT community” and focused on how LGBT issues interact with other aspects of diversity. Personally, I found the whole day thoroughly enjoyable and felt I left with a much wider understanding of issues that affect the LGBT community.

Two words I have recently used to describe the conference are “enjoyable” and “amazing”.

Whilst I always find that national conferences bring together other ambulance and health organisations, we know we can learn best practice ideas from each other.

It is also an opportunity to network and socialise with others, both during the event and afterwards. There were also multiple guest speakers throughout the fully-packed day.

The day offered eight different workshops, which were all CPD-recognised. I chose to attend “HIV care and the experience of patients” and this greatly expanded my personal learning and understanding, not only around terminology, but around the huge stigma which still exists. The workshop focused on the treatment of HIV positive patients and the care and support which is available. The second workshop I attended was more relevant to my current role and was titled “Supporting Good Mental Health in the Control Room”. This session was delivered by Jules Lockett from London Ambulance Service.

I found the day very useful and it left me thinking more about ideas which I could bring back to EEAST, to present to our Trust’s LGBT Network. These were particularly around ideas of improved training, knowledge, engagement events, how and why homophobia still exists and how we all can positively help to help stop that, building stronger relationships and other networks including the BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) Network and Disability Support Network.”

#WeAreEEAST LGBT Chair, Jim Graves, said:

“The national conference is a great opportunity for staff from across the country to meet, share experiences, knowledge and improve understanding of issues affecting the wider LGBT Community.”

Any staff interested in learning more about the National Ambulance LGBT Network, including accessing resources to support both patients and staff, can find this at www.ambulancelgbt.org.

Published 16th November 2019

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