NHS Equality and Diversity Partners get even more inclusive this year, with their first members from outside GPs and trusts

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15 / 5 / 2013 3pm

Mental health charity Together and the NHS Business Services Authority are among the 20 NHS Equality and Diversity Partners announced today by NHS Employers.

Their inclusion represents the first time a mental health charity and national body have been involved in the programme.

The Partners were selected by the NHS Employers organisation to contribute to its programme of work on equality and diversity and will help spread good practice, learning and expertise throughout the NHS for the benefit of staff and patients.

The announcement reflects the Partner programme’s goal to put an even greater focus on equality issues within the NHS in 2013/14, recognising its great diversity but also understanding how personal wellbeing and major change in the NHS can affect different groups in different ways.

The NHS Employers organisation is also coordinating the NHS Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week this week (13-17 May), which includes events throughout the NHS, as well as supporting Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May).

Dean Royles, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation, said:

“The NHS is incredibly diverse and that’s something we don't celebrate enough, as diversity is hugely important for providing good care for our citizens.
“There’s never been a time in the NHS when it’s been more important to embrace equality and diversity to its fullest extent. To deliver truly great care, we need respect and dignity coursing throughout our organisations, between our staff and with our patients - and understanding diversity is central to that. Where this does happen it’s fantastic and where it falls short we want to learn and share examples that can inspire change.

“An important focus for our Partners programme this year will be promoting equality and diversity’s important role in patient care, whether it’s treating patients with dignity or ensuring staff from any part of the NHS feel valued enough to raise any issues emerging in patient care. The involvement of a mental health charity and the NHS Business Services Authority for the first time will help us put individuals’ concerns within the wider context of ensuring the NHS delivers the best care it can.”

Cashain David, director of operations and development at Together, said:

“We are proud to have been chosen as the first charity to work in partnership with the NHS on this vital issue. Together is committed to doing everything possible to ensure that we provide a safe, fair and inclusive environment for all – staff, volunteers and service users. People with mental health needs – whether they work with us or use our services – will most likely have already experienced exclusion at least once, if not more, in their lives; we want to ensure that they are not discriminated against further. 

“We believe that if staff feel respected and included, they are more likely to work with others in an inclusive way and be better placed to respond to the individual needs of marginalised groups and their wider local communities. We look forward to further developing our commitment to best practice in equality, diversity and inclusion, and to sharing our experiences with others in the programme.”

NHS Equality and Diversity Partners have a track record of breaking barriers and strong communication on these issues. Some examples of work performed by the recent 2012/13 partners include:

Successful local engagement with ‘protected characteristic’ groups – many through their Equality and Diversity System work e.g. at South Essex Partnership Trust, Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership Trust, NHS Bury CCG. 
Wider engagement of the organisation in Equality and Diversity Work e.g. The board members at Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust signed-up to become Personal Fair and Diverse champions; 95 per cent Equality and Diversity training completion rate at Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust; work with the travellers community in Bassetlaw CCG.
External recognition of work e.g. Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust appearing in the Stonewall Top 100.
The Partners for 2013/14 are:

1. Alder Hey Children's NHS Trust
2. Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
3. Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
4. Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
5. University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
6. Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership Trust
7. Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust
8. NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group
9. Barnsley NHS Foundation Trust
10. Together
11. Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
12. NHS Business Services Authority
13. Kettering General Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
14. Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust
15. Luton and Dunstable University Hospital
16. Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust
17. Salford Royal Foundation Trust
18. Birmingham Children's Hospital
19. South East Coast Ambulance Service
20. Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust
Details about dozens of events taking place throughout the country during NHS Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week can be found at http://www.nhsemployers.org/equalityweek2013. Or join the conversations on Twitter by using hash tag #EW2013 or by visiting @PFDChamps.

Notes to Editors

The Partners were selected by NHS Employers for their strong equality and diversity programmes and commitment to progress, using six criteria:

  • 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
  • how will your organisation benefit from the Partners programme

A full description of the roles and benefits of being a Partner is available here.

The NHS Employers organisation is the recognised body for employers in the NHS, supporting them to put patients first. See www.nhsemployers.org for more information.

Together is a national charity working alongside people with mental health issues on their journey towards living independent and fulfilling lives. The charity works with around 4,000 people every month, and believes that, with the right support, every individual can direct their own journey towards better mental wellbeing.

Follow NHS Employers on Twitter at @nhsemployers or follow Dean Royles, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation, at @NHSE_Dean. Or for equality and diversity matters, follow Professor Carol Baxter CBE at @ProfCarolBaxter or Paul Deemer at @NHSE_Paul.

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