Last Modified: 12:26pm 13/01/2022

NHS Rainbow Lanyards

The NHS Rainbow Lanyard is just one way to show that Milton Keynes University Hospital is an open, non-judgemental and inclusive place for people that identify as LGBT+.

LGBT+ stands for lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender and the + simply means that we are inclusive of all identities, regardless of how people define themselves.

The lanyard is a reminder to our patients and other members of #TeamMKUH that they can talk to our staff knowing they will do their best to get support for if it is needed.

Our commitment to inclusivity

Milton Keynes University Hospital aims to be the best for patient safety, quality and experience and the best place to work. These goals are worked towards through the MKWay; we care, we communicate, we collaborate, we contribute.

The NHS Rainbow lanyard initiative supports us in achieving our goals by promoting inclusivity, compassion, sensitivity and kindness towards patients, carers and relatives, and colleagues. By wearing an NHS Rainbow lanyard, you will be committing to making MKUH a safe open space, which is non-judgemental and inclusive for all.

We have adopted the NHS Rainbow Lanyard initiative because:

  • Inclusivity leads to better healthcare

There is lots of evidence nationally that people who identify as LGBT+ have higher likelihood of depression, suicidal thoughts, and self-harm. They may also delay seeking medical help for fear of discrimination, which could adversely impact on their health.

Research has shown that when people feel confident to disclose their sexual orientation to healthcare professionals they report better experiences with their care and may be likely to access care more quickly from an inclusive healthcare provider.

The lanyard provides an obvious visual cue to support patients in feeling comfortable disclosing their sexual orientation or gender identity and in seeking advice and support.


  • Inclusivity improves staff wellbeing

Our workforce is our biggest asset and without them we would simply not be able to provide patient care. We strive to be the best place to work so that we can attract and retain the best staff.

We want people to feel safe at work and free from the fear of discrimination. We want to educate and raise awareness of the importance of LGBT+ experiences so that we can further grow our culture of understanding and inclusivity.

There is also strong evidence linking staff wellbeing and motivation to better patient outcomes so by supporting staff we will also be able to deliver the best patient care.


Find out more: Stonewall has published a guide to help staff in NHS organisations understand and meet the needs of LGBT+ patients. You can read it here.