Valuing people leads


29 / 01 / 2009

  • SHA region
  • The organisation
  • What we did and why
  • How we did it
  • The results and next steps
  • Contact details and further information
  • SHA region

    NHS South West

    The organisation

    Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust provides a full range of acute and general hospital services to over 460,000 people in Plymouth, east Cornwall and south west Devon. It serves a population of up to two million people.

    The trust is one of the largest acute healthcare providers in the country, with an annual budget of £218 million, over 1,000 beds and over 6,390 staff. Plymouth Hospitals is also a teaching trust, in partnership with the Peninsula Medical School.

    What we did and why

    In line with its valuing people work, Plymouth Hospitals developed a network of staff to champion and mainstream the valuing people (VP) agenda across the trust. This will be done through delivering on its equality & diversity, patient and public involvement and human resources strategies across the trust.

    The trust identified 34 VP leads from across the organisation and is aiming to have at least one lead for each area who will:

    • support the key internal leads to mainstream equality and diversity throughout the organisation
    • understand, and develop the necessary skills to promote and facilitate the VP agenda in their work area
    • help colleagues recognise existing VP activities and act as a role model and advocate in their area

    How we did it

    Directorate managers were asked to nominate a representative from their area to attend a VP workshop. This aimed to:

    • identify whether the nominated individual would be the right person to be the right VP lead for the directorate
    • provide a networking opportunity for the leads to discuss their role and function, and to be briefed on key legislation and VP projects

    Following the workshop, the team developed an action plan to support the leads in carrying out their role. This included:

    • regular updates on the equality and diversity agenda
    • ensuring better understanding of the core equality & diversity element of the knowledge and skills framework (KSF)
    • agreeing clear objectives for the monthly network meeting
    • identifying training needs for the leads
    • identifying key issues affecting staff retention
    • raising awareness of issues affecting staff and patients, from the national staff survey and national patient survey

    Following the workshop, the trust ran two training sessions for the VP leads. The session outlined their role and responsibilities and developed a checklist/fact-finding form, for the leads to identify best practice and possible gaps in their own work areas.

    The results and next steps

    The VP lead role is on-going and the trust is still working towards having a nominated VP lead in every directorate/department.

    The leads meet on a monthly basis, to discuss issues or best practice in their areas, and to hear briefings from key external groups such as Respect & Dignity. In the longer term, the role will become integral to all aspects of the service and workforce of the trust.

    Contact details and further information

    Jayne Middleman, HR Officer (Equality & Diversity), Level 2 , HR Department, NU Building, Brest Road, Plymouth PL6 5YE

    Telephone: 01752 517537 or email:    

    Wasia Shahain, Equality & Diversity Officer, Service Improvement Team, Level 7, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth PL6 8DH

    Telephone: 01752 437251 or email:

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