Diversity network groups provide a forum for individuals to come together, to share ideas, raise awareness of challenges and provide support to each other. When working effectively they are a key mechanism for driving change and making a difference, as well as giving staff the opportunity to grow personally and professionally.  

Setting up an effective network group 

  • NHS Employers worked in partnership with colleagues from Barnsley NHS Foundation Trust and Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust to produce guidance designed to help organisations in the NHS set up staff network groups. The guide is based on established good practice and  encourages organisations to think clearly about aims, membership, accountability/reporting, logistics and key communications before setting up a network group. 
  • The Health & Care Women Leaders Network delivered by the NHS Confederation and NHS Employers has created a guide How to set up your own women's network which contains everything you need to set up a network in your organisation.
  • The National Ambulance LGBT Forum has developed a programme called Let’s Get Better Together – which contains a ten-step guide to setting up a staff network.
  • The Civil Service is an exemplar in this area and has set up numerous networks ranging from race, dyslexia, stammering, parenting and religious networks such as Muslim, Christian and Jewish.

Network groups in the NHS

The Health & Care Women Leaders Network as mentioned above, is a free network for women working across health and care. The network hosts events, masterclasses and tweet chats, and shares learning through podcasts, blogs, videos and key reports.

The BME Leaders Network meets quarterly and seeks to improve understanding of equality, diversity and inclusion and publish the benefits to help deliver better care for all. To improve and sustain the number of BME leaders working in the NHS. Also to profile the diverse range of BME leaders delivering solutions across the health and care system.

The Health and Care LGBTQ+ Leaders Network was launched by the NHS Confederation in June 2020 for LGBTQ+ leaders and allies from a diverse range of roles and backgrounds across health and care. The network seeks to increase the numbers and visibility of LGBTQ+ people on boards and in senior leadership to influence change and experience of LGBTQ+ staff across the system. The network hosts events, masterclasses and tweet chats, and shares learning through podcasts, blogs, videos and key reports.

The NHS Trans Staff Network @TransNHS is a great example of a virtual network hosted on Twitter, it promotes trans inclusion work in the NHS, celebrates role models and allies. It connects trans nurses, doctors, health professionals and NHS staff.

Creating a personal, fair and diverse NHS

Join our vibrant network of Personal, Fair and Diverse (PFD) champions who are committed to taking action, however small, to create a personal, fair and diverse workplace. The campaign has around 5000 champions across organisations in the NHS.

If you are passionate about an NHS with patients at its heart, care about working in an NHS which is fair and accessible to all, and believe that diverse workplaces make organisations better, you should join our PFD champions network. 

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