Meeting Summary 17 September 2014


19 / 9 / 2014 11.34am

The theme of the second partners meeting was ‘Challenging Thinking & Making a Difference’. Paul Deemer, Head of Equality, Diversity and Human Rights at NHS Employers, welcomed partners and speakers to meeting. He then emphasised that the meeting would look at key psychological principles that are crucial to delivering excellent, evidence based patient care. The meeting would also address how organisations are paying increasing attention to the role of unconscious bias in recruitment, talent management and strategic direction.

Speakers sessions

The first speaker was Dawn Lewinson from (ENEI). Her presentation titled Is Unconscious bias affecting efforts to achieve greater diversity’ explored the psychology behind ‘Unconscious bias (UB)’. In particular how UB plays out in aspects of the employment life cycle such as recruitment, performance management and networking via biases such as affinity and comparison bias. Furthermore she outlined key Implications for individuals and organisations and various strategies that can help reduce bias.

Our second speaker was Professor Narinder Kapur, Consultant Neuropsychologist and Visiting Professor of Neuropsychology, University College London.  His presentation titled ‘Mid Staffordshire Hospital & the Francis report – ‘What Psychology has to offer’  look at how psychology can inform the discussion on:

  • psychological aspects of patient safety
  • why inhumane behaviour occurs
  • the nature of moral dilemmas
  • the generation of clinical excellence, 
  • the discovery of truth in legal or quasi-legal settings
  • communication and its breakdown
  • the psychology of culture, target-driven behaviour
  • corporate memory 
  • and the implementation of intentions.

Our third speaker was Ricky Somal from Southern Health NHS Foundation Trusts.  He shared a short case study on how his organisation challenged stereotypes and assumptions which in turn led to a reduction in the involvement of BME staff subject to disciplinary.

Our fourth speaker was Mark Roberts, Senior Manager, National Employer Solutions at A4e Limited. He shared a case study of his organisation supporting candidates with Asperger’s to enter the workplace.

In the afternoon the meeting took a more interactive and experiential approach.

This session was led by Peter Allen, Graham Coleman and their team from ‘Enact Solutions used drama to explore ‘unconscious bias' and it can impact the way employees work together. This included looking at:

  • How often people’s potential contributions to an organisation can be limited by the attitudes others have toward them?
  • What sort of limiting attitudes do participants witness in others?
  • And what about the attitudes you have towards them?

This highly entertaining session utilised live drama and multimedia content, along with anonymous electronic voting and highly skilled facilitation. Altogether a very thought provoking, high impact learning and development experience for partners.

The final session of the day was delivered by Dr Anita Houghton, Consultant & Coach, Working Lives. She addressed ‘Unconscious Preferences in personality style’ and how this can have an impact on performance. Using her experience and insight into Myers Briggs, Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy she was able to work with the group to understand the importance of styles and accommodating others people ways of working. For more details of Anita’s work.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 10 December 2014.

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