²gether NHS Foundation Trust has been selected as part of a national programme to promote equality and diversity within the NHS.
The Diversity and Inclusion programme, run by NHS Employers, is aimed at ensuring the NHS and other public bodies consider equality and diversity more widely. This may be, for example, in its recording practices, when developing policies, when recruiting new staff, and in its provision of treatment and services.
Other partners in the programme include NHS Blood and Transplant, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, North Somerset Community Partnership, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust, and the MERIT Partnership.
Neil Savage, the Trust’s Director of Organisational Development, said: “Our Trust has always had great policies and practice in place to ensure we consider and promote equality, diversity and inclusion in everything we do. However, we know that there is always more we can do and this programme provides us with an opportunity to keep developing.
“We’ll be working with colleagues from across the country on this programme, so we’ll be able to share best practice with a wide range of organisations. We’ll also be piloting new initiatives, which can only be beneficial for our existing staff, future staff, our service users, carers and communities.”
Partners in the programme needed to demonstrate delivery against six criteria before selection:
- improving patient access and experience;
- empowered, engaged and well supported staff;
- inclusive leadership at all levels;
- better health outcomes for all;
- demonstration of commitment to the partners programme; and
- benefits the organisation will receive from taking part.
The 2017/18 programme is being launched today as part of Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week (#EQW2017) which runs from 15 to 19 May 2017.
The week of equality-focused activity aims to raise awareness of equality, diversity and human rights issues in the NHS and celebrate best practice.
As the largest employer in Europe, with over 1.3 million staff, the NHS has a responsibility to remain at the forefront of the inclusion and fairness agenda for patients and staff.