NHS England and NHS Employers have launched a pledge to employ more people with learning disabilities which local NHS organisations are being encouraged to sign up to.
The pledge was opened for signatures at a workshop event held for employers in Bristol yesterday.
The pledge is split into three stages:
- Step one – commitment. Organisations are asked to confirm their Two Ticks accreditation (given by Jobcentre Plus to employers who commit to taking positive action to encourage applications from people with disabilities) and pledge their further commitment to employing more people with learning disabilities.
- Step two – ready. By pledging to step two, employers need to have created an action plan to employ more people with learning disabilities.
- Step three – success! By pledging to step three, employers need to confirm that they are employing more people with learning disabilities, and to sharing their success stories.
The programme is the next step in a commitment made in the NHS Five Year Forward View to make NHS workforces more representative of the local communities they serve. It takes the form of a new national network providing advice, ideas and impetus to all NHS organisations – from local hospital trusts to national bodies – to remove barriers and take steps to accelerate employment of people with learning disabilities in the NHS.
More than 50 major employers have registered their interest so far, and it is hoped that they and many more will be quick to sign the pledge.
To help them do so, NHS England and NHS Employers launched guidance in September which outlines how to open up meaningful jobs to people with learning disabilities, as well as highlighting the benefits to employers of doing so, including savings associated with reduced employee turnover, accessing a wider pool of talent and experience, and creating a more inclusive and accessible organisation.
To support the rollout of the tools and guidance and encourage local providers and CCGs to sign up, NHS England will be running three events across the country to provide practical training and advice, and help build networks. Local voluntary, community and social organisations, local authorities and Jobcentre Plus representatives will also be invited to attend.