Turning the Big Conversation into Delivery (North East and Yorkshire)

A more diverse leadership that better reflects the broad range of talent in the locality and communities is now one of West Yorkshire and Harrogate Partnership’s ten big ambitions in its five-year plan to deliver the ambitions as an integrated care system.

Fatima Khan-Shah, Programme Lead for Unpaid Carers at the Partnership, describes how she helped, alongside other colleagues, lead the drive to put the experiences and talent of BAME staff at the heart of their workforce strategy:

“The experience of BAME staff like my own were key to how we moved forward on this important agenda at pace. We kicked off by organising a BAME talent takeover in October 2019, where we showed a series of 90-second film clips answering bold questions set for leaders across the Partnership.”

A number of talented BAME staff in leadership roles at all levels also contributed by sharing their career progression experiences. This all stimulated challenging debate and dialogue on how to collectively visibly change the position on inclusion and diversity.

Building on this leadership session, BAME colleagues then came together to shape how the Partnership could make this ambition a reality.

“Colleagues fed back about the importance of visible role models, peer support, a safe space to share experiences, and the importance of a forum to shape and influence change across the Partnership, as well as what already exists within their organisations,” explained Fatima. “These sessions have led to a plan formally approved by the Partnership’s executive, that will deliver our ambition that our leadership should reflect the communities it serves. “The BAME staff network is now a formal part of our infrastructure, with real influence and purpose, including a role in the implementation of the core offer for all staff, the Partnership, NHS People Plan and the Leadership Compact across the system.