We spoke to Ishbel Davis, Urology MDT Coordinator & LGBT+ Network Chair, about her NHS journey and plans for the LBGT+ Network at ASPH.
Please can you tell us a bit about your background?
I started working in the NHS in 2013 at Royal Surrey County Hospital where I stayed for over five years, working in various roles, before joining St Peter’s in January 2019.
Tell us about your journey and how you came to be in the role that you are in now?
I started in medical records at Royal Surrey which was a great opportunity to meet people and learn about different aspects of the hospital. My next role was in appointments where I worked on the two week rule booking and gained knowledge about cancer and cancer targets. I then took on a role in cancer services which I did for almost three years. I was offered a secondment which included the opportunity to work at St Peter’s in the cancer services team for one day per week. I got to know the team here-who are all lovely, so when a job became available I jumped at it! I’m now the Urology MDT Coordinator, helping to organise cancer patients treatment, and tracking patients on the 62 day cancer target, in addition to the other targets we have. I try to make this journey as stress free as possible for patients whilst they are going through such a difficult time.
Please can you tell us about the LGBT+ network here at ASPH?
The network is in its infancy and we’re in the process of confirming our terms of reference, aims, and objectives. Our main aim is to make ASPH as inclusive and open as possible for staff and patients. We want people to feel safe, supported and celebrated here. We’re hopefully going to be rolling out the rainbow badge initiative, either a badge or lanyard, which signifies that patients and staff can approach badge / lanyard wearers and be offered guidance and support in regards to LGBT+ issues. We’re also going to be educating people on LGBT history month in February.
NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens recently said: “The NHS at its best is the real world expression of equality and inclusion. Whoever you are and whoever you love: a health service there when you need it. And as probably the biggest employer of LGBT+ people in Europe: an NHS that welcomes to our team all who bring dedication and skill and compassion.”
How is the ASPH LGBT+ Network helping us to ensure we achieve this level of equality and inclusion?
We meet regularly to discuss upcoming plans for the network. We often review Trust policies to ensure that they’re inclusive and as non-binary as possible, trying to remove references to gender where possible so we don’t isolate people who identify as gender fluid.
As Network Chair I get to feed into the Equality Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee so items we raise are being looked at and supported at an executive level which is fantastic.
What has the LGBT+ Network been up to recently?
We attended the Surrey Pride event on the 10th August which was fantastic and we’re planning other events which we’ll keep colleagues updated with. Personally I’d like to arrange a social event, something casual where people can get to know each other.
How can people get involved with the network?
Come to our next meeting! Be an ally and support your LGBT colleagues by standing up to bullying and harassment if you see it, and if you want to join then please do contact either myself or Matthew Barker who is the Vice Chair.
Anything else you’d like to say?
I’d like to thank the Trust for giving me the opportunity to raise the profile of the network, and I’d also like to shout out to my amazing team in cancer services for supporting me. Also a special mention to my awesome Mum, Elaine Davis, who is a Nurse and has worked at ASPH for 30 years and has been a brilliant role model and inspiration for my NHS career.