Derbyshire: Local health trust chosen to champion diversity across NHS

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust will be showcasing its approach to engagement and inclusion with health professionals across the country after becoming one of only a small number of organisations selected for a national NHS scheme to promote equality and diversity.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 22nd May 2014, 7:00 am
Guardian News
Guardian News

As part of the culmination of last week’s Equality and Diversity Week, the Trust has been named by NHS Employers as one of their Equality and Diversity Partners for 2014/15 – one of only 21 trusts across the country to be selected for the accolade. NHS Employers will now support the Trust as it finds even more ways to embed equality across its services and its workforce, and will ask the Trust to share examples of good practice with other NHS bodies, to stimulate discussion and motivate change and improvement.

Derbyshire Healthcare specialises in providing compassionate care, both in a hospital setting and in the community, and has been recognised as an exemplar organisation for its work on community engagement. The Trust receives continuous feedback from community representatives of all backgrounds who sit on the organisation’s 4Es Stakeholder Committee. The Trust’s Chairman, meanwhile, makes regular ‘reach-out visits’ to community groups, in order to make them aware of the Trust and to learn about any barriers that may exist to the Trust’s varied range of services. In 2013, the Trust was named ‘organisation of the year’ by the LGBT charity Derbyshire Friend for its “innovative ways of working and engaging with community groups” and its “passion and enthusiasm for improving people’s lives”; the Trust’s therapists run monthly drop-in sessions at Derbyshire Friend’s headquarters in Derby. Earlier this month, Derbyshire Healthcare also became the first NHS trust in Derbyshire to sign the British Deaf Association’s BSL (British Sign Language) Charter, to show its commitment to equality for Deaf people.

The application for partner status also involved the Trust demonstrating how equality and diversity played a role through leadership at all levels. The Trust’s Chief Executive, Steve Trenchard, is one of only six NHS Trust chief executives chosen to be an Ambassador for the Personal, Fair and Diverse campaign, also run by NHS Employers, which seeks to create an NHS where everyone counts, where services are personal and designed to give patients what they want and need, and where fairness is built in – so that everyone has equal opportunities and treatment.

Says Steve: “I’m delighted that we have been chosen by NHS Employers to be one of their national Equality and Diversity Partners for the year ahead. We are passionate about being as welcoming as possible to all the different communities we serve: we want people of all different backgrounds to know about our services and feel comfortable using our services to improve their health and wellbeing. Everyone at the Trust is looking forward to working closely with NHS Employers to develop even better ways of working and to share our successes with the rest of the NHS.”