Hello PPMA members and friends

June is Pride Month and is recognised and celebrated by people around the country. We wanted to share with you some of the ways in which our members are celebrating throughout the month. Our first post is from colleagues and PPMA members at North East & North Cumbria ICB. Despite budget restraints this year, Hamid Motraghi, Director of Health Equity and Inclusion is leading a campaign that focuses on information and education. Each week during the month they are posting regular bulletins on different elements of what Pride is, it’s impact and even some real life stories from members of staff. The post below is their ‘week 2’ communication and is about health inequalities and LGBT+ identity. It also includes an excellent description of the history and meaning of the different pride flags.

Pride Month – Week 2 Comms –Health Inequalities and LGBT+ Identity

It’s the second week of Pride Month and we would like to focus on LGBT+ Health Inequalities and Identity.

LGBT+ Health Inequalities

Within the NHS, many members of the LGBT+ community still face health inequalities and barriers to care. In addition to patients, many LGBT+ colleagues within the NHS also face discriminatory behaviour. We have shared multiple articles before on the health inequalities members of this community face, from the impacts on mental health, to access to care, to discriminatory remarks and unequal access to services and treatment,

Many of the issues faced can be placed down to either lack of knowledge, unconscious biases and systematic issues or discriminatory processes. It is how we manage bias and the work we do to further our knowledge and understanding that will improve the care we deliver and further inclusion within our services and workplaces. As such, it is important to understand that everyone’s experience is different. Our own experiences might limit our perceptions of the world around us, but it’s important to remember that our perception is not fact, that other experiences exist and are valid. With this in mind we would like to further your knowledge by exploring different facets of the LGBT+ community.


Numerous flags have been created to represent each facet of the LGBT+ community. This is because representation is important. In a community that has been historically subjected to persecution and discrimination for merely existing, it is important for diverse groups to feel safe and comfortable to express who they are. It is also important that we as health care providers are able to support individuals in feeling safe to come to us with their issues and health concerns and we tailor their care to their needs and who they are as individuals.

For this reason, the NHS rainbow badge is a great tool of indicating you are someone safe who can be approached by LGBT+ colleagues and service users. In addition, we have created a number of different resources this month utilising the Pride Progress Flag, which you can access below and use to show your support for this important cause.

The Pride Progress flag has a long history of development, first beginning with the Gilbert Baker Pride Flag in 1978.

The Gilbert Baker Pride Flag is the original Pride Flag and it was created in 1978 after Harvey Milk asked the artist Gilbert Baker to design a symbol for gay pride. Each colour represented a different part of the LGBT+ community with hot pink representing sex, red life, orange healing, yellow sunlight, green nature, turquoise magic and art, indigo serenity and violet the spirit of LGBT+ community.

Next came the Traditional Pride Flag, which was created after the assassination of Harvey Milk, with the pink stripe removed because of manufacturing issues and the turquoise removed by Gilbert Baker, the six colour pride flag has represented the LGBT+ community for over 40years and is one of the most commonly recognised and used symbols.

In 2017 the Philadelphia Pride Flag was unveiled. It was commissioned to incorporate queer communities of colour that has been overlooked by the mainstream LGBT+ movement and it included the addition of black and brown stripes to symbolise ethnically diverse groups and the contributions to the LGBT+ rights movements over the years.

Daniel Quasar then further developed the Philadelphia Pride Flag and created the Progress Pride Flag, which utilised a white, pink and light blue stripe to represent Trans Communities. While the black and brown stripes still represent ethnically diverse groups, the black stripe also represents the community lost during the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 80s and 90s.

Finally, the Progress Pride Flag has further evolved to form the Intersex Inclusive Progress Pride Flag, which was first shared in 2021 and created by Valentino Vecchietti of Intersex Equality Rights UK. It is the most up to date version of the pride flag and is seen to best represent the diverse communities and groups within the LGBT+ umbrella.

If you would like to find out more about the work being done at the ICB or are interested in looking at ways to collaborate then contact Hamid at [email protected]

Hamid Motraghi MBE -FCIPD FCMI, D/Director of Health, Equity and Inclusion, North East and North Cumbria ICB