Organisations in Focus
In October 2017, Peninsula Health won the 2017 Victorian Public Health Care Award for Supporting LGBTI Health, and their program ‘Proudly inclusive: the journey to achieving Rainbow Tick accreditation’ is certainly worthy of the award.
Peninsula Health is the major health care provider serving the metropolitan and regional areas on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, an area of approximately 720 square kilometres, with a population of over 300,000 and seasonal influx of visitors up to 100,000. Peninsula Health provides over 900 beds providing a wide range of services from obstetrics to aged care, rehabilitation, emergency and intensive care, oncology and psychiatric services.
Peninsula Health’s Rainbow Tick Accreditation was achieved in 8 months, over 12 delivery sites and more than 3500 full time employees. This incredible feat means that Peninsula Health is the first entire health service to achieve Rainbow Tick accreditation nationwide. Significant work was undertaken to prepare for and achieve Rainbow Tick, with all areas of the organisation, including consumers and carers, involved in the project.
The LGBTI Consumer Advisory Group (CAG) was established in August 2010 to provide leadership and advocacy for LGBTI consumers and guides the development of inclusive practice. Achieving Rainbow Tick has been a key aim of the LGBTI CAG since 2010. The purpose of pursuing service-wide Rainbow Tick Accreditation was to embed inclusive practice across the organisation and to improve the quality of care for LGBTI consumers, staff and volunteers. A gap analysis was conducted against the Standards to review current policies/practices and an audit tool developed to assess current policies, practices and systems, and to identify areas for improvement. Following the audit, a quality improvement plan was implemented to prioritise actions. This contains a communications strategy that educates staff about Rainbow Tick, including a monthly newsletter, presentations and one-on-one meetings with heads of departments.
All levels of the organisation were engaged throughout the process, including all clinical areas and support staff, board and executive team, volunteers, carers, and LGBTI consumers who were integral to the process. Peninsula Health’s Rainbow Tick Accreditation Project Manager, Rebecca Thompson, says the changes made at Peninsula Health ensure everyone is treated equally and
“The Rainbow Tick Accreditation is not about changing individual beliefs or personal values, it is ensuring that everybody has equity in their healthcare and place of work. It’s about ensuring the services we provide at Peninsula Health are delivered in ways that are non-discriminatory, LGBTI inclusive and welcoming for everybody,” said Ms Thompson.