Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Hounslow become members of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower network. The Sunflower’s aim is to raise awareness of the daily challenges faced by individuals who live with an invisible disability and to provide support and training opportunities to individuals and organisations. The Sunflower initiative was launched in the UK in 2016 as a symbol to discreetly indicate to people around the wearer including staff, colleagues and health professionals that they need additional support, help or a little more time.

Kingston Hospital are training their 3,200 staff  to understand someone, staff or patients, may wear a Sunflower lanyard or pin badge, what constitutes a hidden disability and what they can do to help support someone choosing to wear a Sunflower. By raising awareness and understanding of non-visible disabilities, they are creating a culture of acceptance and compassion, which in turn will help them to better identify the needs of their workforce or areas where improvement can be made. 

Jo Farrar, Chief Executive KHFT and HRCH, said:

“I thought the event showcased the importance of not making assumptions or judging individuals at face value. By taking the time to listen to and better understand each other we will be better placed to ensure everyone can be at their best."

“We are all different and it is the richness of our diversity, which really came to the fore on the day and that of the people we care for, that make us strong and, if embraced, will help us make better decisions.”

For more information visit Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust