[A]s organisations across the UK celebrate Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week (EQW2016) this week (16-20 May 2016) a team of staff from University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) has been named the ‘Inclusive Team of the Year’ by NHS employers.
NHS Employers is the authoritative voice of workforce leaders and experts in HR (Human Resources) across the NHS, negotiating fairly to get the best deal for patients. They help employers make sense of current and emerging healthcare issues to ensure that their voice is at the front and centre of health policy and practice.
The Corporate Team for Inclusion at UHMBT, which includes: Karmini McCann; Workforce Business Partner, Lynne Wyre, Deputy Chief Nurse at Furness General Hospital (FGH), David Wilkinson, Director of Workforce and Organisation Development, Shyam Kumar, Consultant in Orthopaedics and Amit Kochhar, Associate Specialist in ENT (Ears, Nose and Throat), won the prestigious award for ‘demonstrating an ongoing commitment to personalised care through inclusive behaviour which has helped to either improve patient outcomes or create a more inclusive workplace’.
Paul Deemer, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at NHS Employers, said: “The Corporate Team for Inclusion at UHMBT has shown a collective commitment to the
diversity and inclusion agenda within the Trust. The team has aligned this with the Trust’s values and contributed to either improved access or outcomes for patients, or increased engagement or awareness-raising among staff. They really have gone that extra mile to engage and encourage staff across UHMBT and across the region.”
In 2015, David Wilkinson, the Executive Lead for Inclusion and Diversity at UHMBT, commissioned an external review of the Trust’s approach against equality legislation to ensure its approach was reflected in its organisational values. Following this, the Trust Board made a commitment to become ‘effortlessly inclusive’ and identified Inclusion and Diversity leads for both operational services and workforce.
During 2015/16, the Inclusion and Diversity leads have worked with staff from across the Trust to truly put inclusion and diversity on everyone’s radar. Achievements include:
- Forming a ground breaking initiative with the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) to improve employee experience for different groups – the first of its kind in the UK
- Launching Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT), Black Minority Ethnic (BME) and Disability staff networks across UHMBT
- Holding the Trust’s first ‘Towards Inclusion’ conference to allow the Trust to engage with staff about their experiences and where the Trust needs to improve
- Launching a LGBT patient engagement network
- Recruiting over 100 Personal Fair Diverse Champions
- Collaborating with mental health partners to improve mental health provision across the Trust’s Emergency Departments
- Developing a reactive Workforce Race Equality Standard response in partnership with BME staff
- Running external patient engagement events to gather views and showcase improvements as a result of feedback
- Holding a dementia conference which included national leads for dementia
- Working closely with Dianne Smith, UHMBT’s Dementia Matron, the Trust signed up to ‘John’s campaign – Carers welcome here’. The idea of John’s campaign’ is that carers of people with dementia should be able to support their loved ones at whatever time is most helpful to the patient and whatever time is do-able for the carer
- Launching a Listening into action scheme called ‘Talk to my Face’ to improve services for the hard of hearing.
- Transforming access to translation and Interpretation services
David Wilkinson, Director of Workforce and Organisational Development, UHMBT, said: “I am thrilled that the work Karmini, Lynne and other teams across the Trust have done to raise awareness of the importance of treating everyone equally, and making sure that all employees have equal access to career opportunities and receive fair treatment in the workplace.
“We are absolutely committed to continuing this work and helping everyone in our hospitals to recognise the importance of a diverse workforce and the benefits having one brings to us as a Trust, but also, the wider communities.”
Jackie Daniel, Chief Executive, UHMBT said: “We are very proud that our Corporate Team for Inclusion has been named the Inclusive Team of the Year by NHS Employers. Being inclusive is more than just addressing the BME issues facing current and future employees. It is also about recognising, accepting and celebrating the differences in us all – we are all unique and special in our own way and we all have something to contribute.
“The team has worked incredibly hard over the last year to help our Trust shift our culture with regards to inclusivity and whilst we still have a lot to do, their work has made a huge difference.
“I would like to pass on my sincere thanks and congratulations to Karmini, Lynne, David, Shyam, Amit, all our Personal Fair Diverse Champions and the rest of the staff involved, for all their hard work.”
The team has also been shortlisted for a ‘Courage to Manage’ award’ by The Healthcare People Management Association (HMPA), which is the professional voice of HR in healthcare. HMPA supports and develops HR staff to improve the people management contribution in healthcare, and ultimately improve patient care.
The team has been shortlisted for the work they are doing to improve the experiences of BME employees at UHMBT and will travel to London on 30 June for the awards ceremony.