Staff shown how to be LGBT-friendly at Anchor’s Silk Court care home in Bethnal Green

Researcher carrying out survey at Silk Court care home

Researcher carrying out survey at Silk Court care home - Credit: Middx Uni

A project has been carried out at a care home for the elderly to help staff in London’s East End become more ‘gay friendly’.

Bethnal Green’s Silk Court and five other London care homes were involved in the project to see how staff training and recruitment can be improved to make them “more welcoming for older lesbian, gay, bisexual or ‘trans’ people”.

University researchers visited Silk Court, run by Anchor Homes, to get staff views on providing care and how they operated.

“Going into a care home can be traumatic for many older LGBT people,” Anchor Homes’ Brenda Metcalfe said. “They don’t know how other residents or staff will react when told about their lifestyle.

“Some fear they have to go back in ‘the closet’—so we were keen to learn from the researchers.”

A plan has now been drawn up by Middlesex University to share the findings with homes in other parts of Britain to show how they can provide care for older LGBT people.

A review of staff recruitment to make sure candidates are suitable to work in Silk Court’s “behaviour framework” on LGBT equality is also under way, with training developed for care staff on ‘inclusive care’.