AMBULANCE staff are now a part of the national 'Rainbow Badge' scheme - designed to support LGBT NHS staff.

The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) signed up to the project this week in an effort to promote a "diverse, inclusive and respectful working environment".

The scheme originated at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital with the aim to make a difference to patients and staff by promoting a message of inclusion. It is now being adopted by medical trusts up and down the country.

The scheme aims to actively break down barriers for people who identify as LGBT+.

Staff are being encouraged to sign up for the scheme and pledge their support, sending a message that the service offers open, non-judgmental and inclusive support and care.

Deputy Chief Executive Michael Forrest said: “The scheme is an ideal opportunity for staff to demonstrate that they are aware of issues that LGBT+ people can face when accessing healthcare.

"We have a common mission not only to provide excellent care to our patients and their families but to provide all of our colleagues with a diverse, inclusive and respectful working environment which should always be celebrated.

“The scheme has already been extremely well received by staff and we look forward to promoting it further across the trust.”

The NWAS LGBT Network officially launched the NWAS NHS rainbow badge on Wednesday 5 February at a special joint emergency services event to mark LGBT History Month.