Twenty-five organisations today joined forces to develop and promote equality in the NHS workplace in 2015/16.
These new ‘Equality and Diversity Partners’ have been selected by NHS Employers from 42 organisations which applied to be members of the partners scheme. Membership will help them to network with each other and the wider NHS, expanding on the success of previous years’ Partners in influencing policy and improving performance.
They will explore areas where the NHS is relatively strong, such as gender equality. They will also work together on urgent areas such as the career progress of people from black and minority ethnicity backgrounds and the employment of people with learning disabilities.
The Partners are diverse, including health trusts, clinical commissioning groups and a commissioning support unit and charities. All were selected for their innovative equality and diversity programmes.
One example is award-winning(1) new Partner Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust. Its HR department and community development workers have joined forces to create unique community workshops in Dudley. These are successfully addressing myths about inequality in NHS recruitment, such as concern that information about ethnicity disclosed during applications would be used to stop people getting certain jobs.
Danny Mortimer, Chief Executive of NHS Employers, said.
“The NHS continues to work hard to improve the experience for all the people we employ, as well as improve access for all the communities we serve. There is still however much that we must do.
“Our new Partners have all demonstrated the importance to them of equality and diversity in both staff and patient experience. It’s especially encouraging to have commissioners involved, as well as a voluntary sector organisation in the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
“We have worked closely with NHS England on the development and roll-out of the nine-point workforce race equality standard (WRES) metric. Launched on 1 April, this WRES – alongside the Equality Delivery System framework – are now mandatory features of what we hope will become an effective and robust governance system for health and social care.”
This week is Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week (11 May – 15 May). To discover more about all the support and activities from NHS Employers, see http://www.nhsemployers.org/news/2015/05/equality-diversity-and-human-rights-week-is-here