Workers say Walton Hospital is dominated by pro-LGBT culture
A member of staff at Chesterfield's Walton Hospital has come forward to say he and other colleagues feel their views have been silenced by a pro-LGBT culture.
The worker, who preferred not to be named through fear of reprisal, said his and fellow workers’ wishes to see the St George flag flown on days such as St George’s Day had been ignored.
But he and others felt it was unfair that a rainbow flag - the symbol of the gay or lesbian, gay, bisexual and transvestite community - was permanently flown at full mast outside the hospital.
He said: “There is quite a strong gay community at Walton Hospital - they sort of rule the roost and there is a fear of speaking up about such things.
“It came to light about a year ago when a colleague of mine complained that the flag was always on show.
“It was around the time that the MP Jo Cox was murdered and he complained that everywhere else in the country they were flying the St George’s flag at half-mast.
“He asked why couldn’t we take the rainbow flag down and have the St George’s flag at half-mast - and it was done within half-a-day.
“But what we feel is that in a public service such as this one you should not have to put in a request. And when you do put in a request you should not feel looked down on.”
The member of staff said since that time the rainbow flag had been flown permanently at the site, which cares for adults with mental health needs and for the elderly.
He added: “Obviously, you cannot have the St George’s flag for every national event but, for example, on St George’s Day it would be appropriate.
“But there is a fear here at the hospital that if you complain to the powers that be that you will be called a racist or a bigot.”
Amanda Rawlings, HR Director for Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’re proud to be one of the NHS’ top employers, one which places equality and diversity matters at the centre of our values.
“Without exception, we are committed to celebrating all calendar events with significance to our staff and our patients - just one reason why we are heralded as the community trust with the most engaged colleagues in the country.
“I would personally welcome and openly encourage any feedback from colleagues to help continually shape how we do this in future.”