Moving forward on equality and diversity

The Equality and Diversity Council at NHS England works to ensure everyone’s contribution to our health service is fairly recognised. In the first of two blogs, Joe O’Grady reports on the Council’s work and outlines what steps we can all take to ensure fair treatment for NHS patients and staff:

My first experience of attending the National Equality & Diversity Council was in January, so I was keen to see how it worked and get involved in the discussion and interaction.

I was also keen to network and see what initiatives are being planned.

The meeting covered a very full agenda and I felt that the Co-Chairs wanted to help the NHS to keep moving towards making improvements and reducing the many inequalities and inconsistencies that face a modern NHS built upon such strong and inclusive values.

As a guest attendee who works in the E&D field, as well as chairing the north-west NHS E&D Leads Regional Forum, I was relieved to learn the Council is focusing on three key work streams that are crucial to moving the E&D agenda forward.

The first is Supporting System Architecture. This looked specifically at EDS2 and the refresh which may be undertaken around July 2018.  A comprehensive presentation on staff experience and patient experience/satisfaction followed with some thought provoking points around the interrelation of positive staff experiences and patient quality.

The second is Enabling Leadership Capacity and Capability. This provided an update on the ongoing programme to develop an inclusive leadership culture within the NHS and the need to link with BME Staff Networks. This was followed by an excellent update on the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) in particular the future and the upcoming 70th Year Anniversary Celebration of the NHS and Windrush.

The third work stream, Embedding Levers and Accountability, focused on this work group and the challenges ahead, the need for collaboration between national lead bodies was stressed. There was a lot of attention on the upcoming Workforce Disability Equality Standard and the roll out of WDES workshops that will be facilitated in varied regions in the upcoming months.

Although I found all the areas discussed very important, the particular highlight for me was the inspiring presentation – Building Inclusive Leadership @ Barts Health – which was delivered by Banji Adewumi and her HR Director Michael Pantlin.  It was so reassuring to see excellent practice in action being acknowledged.  Having been on the NHS Employers D&I Partners Programme with Banji, it does not surprise me how her Trust is progressing.

I got to network with some of the members and came away with at least one collaboration option to follow up with the Royal College of Nursing. This is on BME leadership in the north-west.

I am thankful to Dr Habib Naqvi for inviting me as part of an initiative to invite regional E&D Forum Leads to attend the Council and hope to be welcomed again at a later date, once my regional peers have attended on behalf of their respective areas, in 2018.

Joe O'Grady

Joe O’Grady began his 32-year career in Health and Social Care as a nursing auxiliary and completed his training as an RMN in 1989.

He is currently on secondment for 2018-19 to formulate an equality governance framework and service for the Cheshire and Merseyside region, and has been the Equality and Diversity Manager at the Countess of Chester Hospital since 2011.

Joe increased recruitment of stakeholders from across the protected characteristics into equality sub groups, the equality governance framework and joint working initiatives. He implemented a robust equality analysis toolkit and recruited over 40 Equality Local Champions, who received accredited E&D training. In addition, Joe co-facilitated International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), Chester PRIDE and other events in partnership with third sector organisations.

He launched the Trust’s inaugural Carers Strategy to support Patients and Staff who are Carers. Joe has also helped the Trust to achieve one of the highest equality performance ratings under both the Equality Delivery System 2 and Workforce Race Equality Standard frameworks and to meet the Accessible Information Standard, Disability Confident Employer and NAVAJO LGBTI Charter Marks.

His Trust has been a pilot site for both the Workforce Disability Equality Standard and the NHS Sexual Orientation Monitoring Standard and is a Partner Alumni for Diversity and Inclusion with NHS Employers.

Joe won the national NHS Leadership Academy Award for Inclusive Leadership in 2015 and national Diversity Champion award for Public Sector in 2017, in the Excellence In Diversity Awards.

One comment

  1. Kassander says:

    “A comprehensive presentation on staff experience and patient experience/satisfaction followed with some thought provoking points around the interrelation of positive staff experiences and patient quality.”
    Why wasn’t a more informative “Report” included, or even made available via a Hotlink?
    Articles which are written in this style may be considered by the author to be morale boosting, but for me, an ‘umble Patient, It tells me not much at all about anything that was actually said at the meeting.
    In future, might you consider using the Screen-space for factual feedback? Quite a lot could be gleaned from placing CVs and general person-puffing into a Hyper-linked file?