27 / 01 / 2009
NHS South Central
Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and New Deal in the local area
The Trust looked at their workforce and identified several areas where BME groups were under represented. These included porters, IT, catering and administration staff. As a Positively Diverse site, the Trust was aware that despite the local health population consisting of a large BME community, their workforce did not reflect this.
By embarking on the Positive Action Through Health scheme, the Trust aimed to create a positive reputation within the community as a whole as a good employer, and to encourage take up from BME groups.
The Trust signed up with New Deal. This is a scheme that helps those who are disadvantaged, from minority groups, have mental illness or have been unemployed for any length of time. The scheme deals with all community members, not just BME groups. The Positive Action Through Health scheme, in conjunction with New Deal enables people to undertake work placements at the Trust, with the aim of gaining employment at the end of the placement.
People who signed up to the New Deal scheme went through an induction to assess their training needs, and to explain how the scheme would work. They were put forward for informal interviews for any suitable roles within the Trust. If successful, they would spend 6 months on a work placement within the organisation. They were under contract with New Deal, but the Trust provided training and additional support during the 6 months.
- Direct benefit to participants, with increased confidence and skills which allow them to progress within the Trust or other organisations.
- Direct benefit to the Trust, with increased uptake from BME groups and community members as a whole.
Feedback was given from all participants on both sides of the initiative, but there are no procedures in place to record this information. The Trust is looking to put such procedures in place.
It is unclear of the levels of uptake from the scheme, specifically from the BME target group.
Positve Action Through Health has been a successful scheme, but with no qualitative data, we are unable to measure the extent of its success at this time.
Florise Elliott, Diversity Advisor, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, Management Centre, St. Mary's Hospital, Portsmouth, PO3 6AD