Sadly, OLGA cannot any progress nationally in provision and support for LGBT clients in care homes. Care quality commission last year reported back to OLGA that there were isolated pockets of good practice but overall things were not good.
Hate Crime Reporting
At a local technical college LGBT awareness day recently, Mary Birch (Project Co-ordinator) challenged the college about their knowledge of reporting hate crimes. Unfortunately the two community police officers who were there to answer questions, completely messed up their guidance for potential victims. Obviously another case for North Yorkshire police to train their staff in equality, diversity, human rights and hate crime reporting.
On the same day that Mary trained North Yorkshire Police, she met the newly promoted chief constable, Lisa Winward. Mary quizzed Lisa about the inability of police to discuss or divulge data about hate crime in health and social care. Lisa used to sit on the safeguarding board. Is it the case that incidents are being logged as safeguarding only, not looked at as being crimes? OLGA will pursue this issue.
At long last, after 10 years of offering to provide equality, diversity and human rights training to North Yorkshire Police, we did it! It has to be said that the police did not capitulate easily. Thanks are due to a police officer of colour who was given a project in this, his last year of service, to improve the diversity of the police force. On the day where Mary delivered the training to 35 police cadets, it was certainly heartening to see the LGBT cadets wearing their rainbow lanyards openly and proudly. It was also great to see cadets of colour alongside white colleagues.
Mary Birch Olga Project Co-ordinator, front row centre.
This breakthrough came from campaigning in the police force by one of their own, who happened to be of colour. We do worry about the sustainability of ongoing training when this wonderful officer retires in a few weeks time. OLGA always maintains that activities and training should be delivered by users, who are from the protected characteristics of the equality law.
At present it is difficult to be excited and optimistic about any progress with care for LGBT people. Inside information from Care Quality Commission shared with OLGA, indicates that inspectors are slowly starting to gain confidence to ask questions. They are being retrained in order to ask service providers about health and social care for LGBT people. One ray of sunshine is that inspectors have been trialling a new form of questioning. Results indicate there are pockets of good practice, but this is outweighed by a massive need for improvement with most providers. OLGA project co-ordinator Mary Birch will be working in London with CQC later this month.
We look forward to giving you an update around Autumn 2018.