Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust serves over 11 million people and offers specialist inpatient and community services that support mental health, learning disabilities, addictions, brain injuries and physical health.
What was the aim/problem?
Evidence emerged in the weeks immediately before the COVID-19 pandemic that the virus was having a disproportionate impact on individuals from a black, Asian and minority (BAME) background. It was important for the trust to do everything possible to protect these colleagues.
What was the solution?
The ambition was to provide an enhanced safety assessment for all BAME colleagues. For this, the trust’s engagement with BAME colleagues was very important in the development of an effective risk assessment approach. Other groups it engaged with included the women’s and LGBTQ+ networks, and dyslexia and dyspraxia staff networks.
Further the trust conducted an equality impact assessment (EIA) of the workforce to identify other at-risk groups and categories.
Actions included extended carer‘s leave arrangements and, as a precaution, vitamin D deficiency tests for BAME colleagues over 55.
What were the results?
Uppermost, our BAME staff feel valued and protected, with the protection each colleague requires based on personal circumstances.
The initial engagement with BAME colleagues has led to continued dialogue and support. The trust currently runs one-to-one virtual coaching for BAME staff and team time reflective practice session for BAME network members.
The trust also continues to engage extensively with other staff networks: disabled, women, LGBTQ+, dyslexia and dyspraxia.
The trust hopes in the near future to sign up to the Race at Work charter, recruit a colleague to fill the vacant chair role in the disabled staff network, and survey colleagues on their experiences, management and impact of COVID-19. This survey’s findings will inform how the trust implements interventions and support for all colleagues.
Want to know more?
Please contact Rachel Robinson, Deputy Head of Communications, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust: firstname.lastname@example.org