Skills for Care

Abbeyfield shares their experience with Skills for Care’s LGBTQ+ learning framework

07 Jun 2024

6 min read

Skills for Care

  • Good news story

This #GoodNewsFriday and in recognition of Pride month, we hear the story of Abbeyfield, a care provider who have adopted Skills for Care’s LGBTQ+ learning framework, enabling them to offer higher quality care and create more respectful and happier care environments.

Skills for Care recently launched a learning framework designed to improve the care and support provided to older lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer (LGBTQ+) people. This framework, developed by the University of Strathclyde and the Pride in Ageing programme at LGBT Foundation in collaboration with older LGBTQ+ individuals, aims to equip social care organisations with the knowledge, skills, and values needed to confidently support this community.

During Pride month, we’re hearing from organisations who’ve used the framework and how it’s supported them to make positive changes within their workplace.

Aaron Ingham, Learning and Development Business Partner at Abbeyfield, shared his experience with the learning framework as they adopted it in the design and implementation of their wellbeing and inclusion processes.

Abbeyfield’s strategy starts with audits and surveying. They have created a questionnaire on attitudes and awareness to establish a baseline and evaluate priorities for change, which is incorporated into the annual staff wellbeing survey. A working group has been set up to review data collection from staff, including during onboarding. Internal audits are mapped to the framework to guide staff and management consultations on desired outcomes.

Those involved in the equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) strategy are engaged to ensure an intersectional approach. The framework is raised in the people and communication strategy by developing LGBTQ+ terminology in organisational documentation and embedding the framework’s resources. Conversations with managers and staff are initiated on effectively dealing with harassment and its reporting and recording. Lastly, LGBTQ+ issues are included in Abbeyfield’s new courses on unconscious bias.

Abbeyfield also requires managers to formulate their own local action plans and to display these as a visual poster in their service. This helps to connect the service plans with staff, customers, family and visitors and will be supported by a local LGBTQ+ champion who can drive plans forward and network across the organisation.

Aaron Ingham, Learning and Development Business Partner at Abbeyfield, said:

The framework is fantastic, a very comprehensive piece of work. I refer back to it when I design anything around wellbeing and inclusion. This is not separate or standalone, but I include and incorporate it where we can in all diversity in existing projects.

As Aaron’s experience shows, the framework not only supports care workers in providing more inclusive and understanding care to older LGBTQ+ individuals but also fosters a more accepting and supportive environment within care organisations. Abbeyfield's proactive approach in adopting the framework has yielded great results and we’re excited to hear more from employers who are utilising the framework to offer better care and create more equitable, respectful and happier care environments.

Find out more about the LGBTQ+ learning framework.

Topic areas

How recognition and reward can help you retain staff

How leaders create workplace cultures that retain social care staff