Summary of module two partners programme - capacity

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The second partners module for the 2020/21 cohort was held on 9 December 2020 and focused on NHS Reset and capacity building.

Paul Deemer, head of diversity and inclusion at NHS Employers welcomed the 115 guests to the online event.

Panel session 1 - NHS Reset and EDI: reflections and opportunities

The panel included - Preth Rao, Assistant Director, from NHS Confederation, Patrick Price, EDI Lead from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Steve Russell, CEO from Harrogate & District Foundation Trust and Ethel Changa, South Region Lead from the Chief Nursing officers BME Strategic Advisory group.

The focus of the session centred on workforce supply, staff experience, leadership and addressing health inequalities and looking ahead.

Key points highlighted during the session

  • When considering workforce supply, we need to think about retention during training and post training.
  • The NHS is seen as national treasure, as a provider of services but also as an employer.
  • The vaccine is welcomed but need to remember that structural inequalities remain.
  • The pandemic highlighted vulnerabilities in terms of workforce supply, but also existing workforce and health inequalities.
  • Workforce resilience and health and wellbeing has never been so critical.
  • Staff engagement through staff networks, online support and other engagement activities has been crucial.
  • Line managers supporting individual staff and teams was important.
  • Working across the regions to ensure staff were engaged and support has been key.
  • It was important to build on the levels of staff engagement, co-production, diversity of thought that has been witnessed in 2021.
  • The importance of continuing to have difficult conversation to shape policy and practice. 

Panel session 2 - Systems thinking and bringing together staff experience, culture, inclusion and health inequalilties - The partners experience

The panel included - Lisa White, Assistant Director of People from Plymouth Hospital NHS Trust, Paul Singh, Equality & Diversity Lead from Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Emily Wraw, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion from The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust and Judith Low, Head of People and Culture from NHS North East Essex CCG.

The focus of the session centred on staff health and wellbeing, the key role of the HR team, staff networks, values-based practice and looking ahead.

Key points highlighted during the session

  • Working across organisations and regions has been very beneficial and there has been a real desire to work together to achieve outcomes.
  • Demonstration of generosity within and across teams in the organisation.
  • Examples of good practice focused on care and kindness, flexibility in undertaking duties and freedom to make decisions and act.
  • Real opportunity to drive diversity into the system.
  • Getting HR to focus less on process and more on health and wellbeing.
  • The importance of trust and health and wellbeing
  • Senior leaders engaging with staff has been very beneficial.

Session 3 - Celebrating excellence and sharing good practice

The final session involved two organisations who were recognised as part of the annual Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (ENEI) Awards in 2020

Harjit Bansal, head of equality and diversity from North East London Foundation Trust shared the journey of her organisation which led to the trust being named Public Sector Employer of the Year 2020. She highlighted the importance of leadership and the use of appropriate data to drive innovation. In addition, she emphasised how the award had help build momentum internally and acted as
validation of the efforts of the trust.

Nav Sharma from Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust, spoke about how her trust had received the ENEI award for Community Impact Project of the Year. She highlighted how she had worked with refugees and built the case for supporting refugees in the community who had the necessary skills to take part in conversion courses to help them join the NHS workforce. She emphasised the importance of investing resources and commitment from the organisation to see the initiative as vital to meeting the challenge of workforce supply. 

Date of next module

The combined third and fourth module of the partners programme will be held virtually on 25 March 2021.

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