26 / 01 / 2009
NHS North West
St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust employs over 4,300 staff and provides a wide range of clinical services to 350,000 people in and around St Helens and Knowsley. This includes a full range of acute in-patient, outpatient, day case and emergency services, as well as providing the Regional Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre.
The trust has focused on developing and embedding a robust equality and diversity strategy in all its activities across two hospital sites with both staff and its work with the local community. This activity aims to:
- ensure that its services and organisational activities are as transparent and inclusive as possible to all service users, employees and stakeholders
- underpin its commitment to comply with both the duty and the spirit of the law
The trust believes that it cannot achieve quality without equality and has identified the following equality aim:
- to recruit, develop and retain a local staff community that is able to deliver high quality services that are accessible, responsive and appropriate to meet the diverse needs of the local community
The trust is committed to ensuring that equality and diversity awareness is an established dimension of all staff training and development and has:
- established a rolling programme of equality and diversity training for staff ranging from classroom-based courses on Respect at Work training to including diversity in induction training for new starters
- ensured the Knowledge and Skills Framework's (KSF) equality and diversity core dimension six, is a cross cutting theme in its single equality action plan.
- included equality and diversity awareness and understanding in other training programmes such as the Leadership and Management Development Initiative (LAMDI) and child protection awareness training
- established a programme of Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) training for managers which ensures that EqIA becomes an integral part of developing new policies and procedures
In addition, the trust's equality and diversity group plays an important role in its approach to equality and diversity. It provides advice, guidance and feedback for staff and plays a key role in helping the trust to prioritise its equality and diversity work programme.
The trust also has clear procedures for managing requests to make reasonable adjustments for members of staff, for example for disabled staff, through line managers who are the first point of contact for requests. It also offers a range of benefits to meet different staff needs for example a subsidised crèche and a range of family friendly work practices.
- The Equality and Diversity Committee is in place and is chaired by an executive director.
- SES and diversity is recognised as an established dimension within training and development.
- Provided training and briefings to the trust board on equality and diversity as well as other staff groups
- Feedback from the annual staff survey shows positive experiences from staff, particularly regarding the availability of training that includes diversity training
- EqIAs are now seen as an integral part of developing and reviewing policies and procedures
The trust is now working hard to:
- Review its SES and action plan
- Ensure that front line staff are kept informed of equality and diversity requirements
- Look at ways to implement Positive Action
- Build partnership arrangements with key external bodies eg. Job Centre Plus
Kate Kerwin, Equality and Diversity Manager, Whiston Hospital, Warrington Road, Prescot, Merseyside L35 5DR