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#NewProfilePic for February 2024

01 February 2024 - Every month, a different member of staff will be our #NewProfilePic on social media

This February, we’re sharing our new staff profile and also marking the start of LGBTQ+ History Month with Keely Penalver, Orthoptist at King’s College Hospital. Keely’s been part of King’s for seven years. Sharing their experience, Keely said: “There is never a day that I do not learn something new. Working at King’s allows me to engage with patients who have complex conditions and backgrounds which is great for continuously improving by knowledge and skills.”

What is the most interesting part of your role? 

“Being able to improve a child’s vision is extremely rewarding. I love hearing the stories of how they have improved at school or when they tell their parents they didn’t realise there was a hole in their Cheerio’s because they previously couldn’t see it.”

Is there anything interesting about your role at King’s that people may not know?

“I lead the school vision screening service for reception children in Southwark. By checking all 3000+ 4–5-year-olds each year, we can pick up any vision problems and treat them while we still have time. It’s a lot of children, but my amazing colleague tests up to 120 children each day!”

February also marks LGBT+ History Month, what does this mean to you and the patients you care for?

“Census data shows that Lambeth and Southwark’s LGB (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual) population is approximately 2.5x higher the average of England and Wales. While the Trans+ population in South East London is approximately 2x higher than the average for England and Wales.

“It’s important that at King’s we provide a welcoming and safe environment for all LGBTQ+ people. Understanding the historical struggles and advances in healthcare for the LGBTQ+ community can ensure that the care we offer is inclusive while considering the specific needs and disparities faced by LGBTQ+ people.

“I want every LGBTQ+ patient, visitor and staff member to feel valued and know that we continue to work hard to improve health outcomes for our LGBTQ+ community in South East London.”

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