In July 2023, Brisbane South PHN officially gained Rainbow Tick accreditation. Rainbow Tick is Australia’s national LGBTIQA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, asexual) inclusion and accreditation framework. Accreditation is awarded to organisations that achieve high standards of LGBTIQA+ inclusive practice against 6 national standards.
Brisbane South PHN works with primary care providers and health system partners to bridge the gap in opportunities, health outcomes and life expectancy for all, particularly for population groups experiencing the greatest health inequities.
Over a period of 8 months, Brisbane South PHN pursued Rainbow Tick accreditation to enhance our practices as a safer, more inclusive and affirming organisation that supports the needs of LGBTIQA+ people.
With increasing recognition that LGBTIQA+ inclusion requires “a comprehensive strategy for systemic change and service system re-design” (Rainbow Health Victoria, 2023), the Rainbow Tick framework helps organisations measure themselves against national standards that include organisational capability, workforce development, consumer participation, a welcoming and accessible organisation, disclosure and documentation and culturally safe and acceptable services.
To become Rainbow Tick accredited, we examined our culture, communication, training, procedures and processes over 8 months to identify where we can become a safer, more inclusive and affirming organisation in how we:
- build staff capability internally
- commission services
- perform our corporate functions
- support General Practitioners (GP’s) and the primary care sector
- conduct our overall processes.
“Now that we are accredited, we’ll continue to look at how we can enhance our inclusive practices whilst also starting to look outward to how we can best support GP’s, general practices and the services we commission to become safer, more inclusive and affirming health services," said Susan Lingard, Health Access and Equity Lead at Brisbane South PHN.
“We know that a disproportionate number of LGBTIQA+ peoples are known to experience discrimination, stigma, harassment and bullying across many parts of everyday life, including when interacting with the health system, with far-reaching impacts on their mental health and emotional wellbeing,” said Susan.
In becoming Rainbow Tick accredited, our initial aim has been to:
- enhance our inclusive practice to ensure we are safe, welcoming and an affirming organisation
- gain an informed ability to consider identity in our planning, commissioning and engagement with community members and clinicians
- develop a better understanding of the local health needs, disparities and the consequent needs for health care equity for LGBTIQA+ peoples and communities
- demonstrate an ongoing commitment to partnering with organisations that can inform future PHN implementations and ensure these partnerships are mutually beneficial.
“PHNs play an important leadership role in the not-for-profit and health sector as a commissioning agency,” Susan said. “We have important work ahead of us to demonstrate and advocate for safe, inclusive and culturally appropriate services for people with diverse bodies, identities and experiences.”
For more information, visit:
- Quality Improvement Performance independent Rainbow Tick accreditation provider, Rainbow Tick Standards | QIP accreditation
- Rainbow Health Australia is a program that supports LGBTIQA+ health and wellbeing through research and knowledge translation, training, resources, policy advice and service accreditation through the Rainbow Tick program.
- Research Matters: Why do we need LGBTIQA+ inclusive services? (Provided by rainbowhealthaustralia.org.au)