“Here at BSUH we have taken big steps towards achieving racial equality but we still have further to go. I am committed to ensuring every BSUH employee is treated equally, regardless of their race or ethnic background.” Marianne Griffiths, Chief Executive, BSUH

Its been 2 months since the launch of our refreshed approach and strategy on the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES). A week ago people from across hospital services came together to get an update on progress, contribute to further work and network. The Trust has a WRES Working Group which meets regularly and any member of the Trust can come forward and get involved.

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Helen Weatherill (Director of Human Resources) and Barbara (Babs) Harris (Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) welcoming staff

The update on 18th July 2018

Marianne Griffiths (Chief Executive) opened the morning by stating that the Trust’s philosophy is the Patient First Approach. She said that people come to work everyday to put patients first, but sometimes things get in the way and the Trust Executive Team has continued to listen to staff to uncover the root causes of this. Denise Farmer (Chief Workforce and Organisational Development Director) and the Trust Interim Chair, Patrick Boyle, gave their support to the development of race and culture strategy across staff groups.

Following the Race Equality Conference on the 29th of May 2018, consultation of attendees and continuing dialogue within the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) Working Group, the Trust has made a commitment to focus on three core areas, which cover 8 out of the 9 WRES indicators. They are:

  1. Communication
  2. Appraisal
  3. Education and Training

Group work

Upwards of 130 staff came along on the day. Actors performed a scenario which covered discrimination in the workplace – specifically racism and homophobia. Staff were then asked to think about how they thought communication could be improved, what tools could they use to challenge unhealthy attitudes and discriminatory behaviour.

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From left to right: Nick Groves (Associate Director 3Ts and LGBTQ+ Staff Network Convenor), Simon Anjoyeb (Equality Project Manager), Julie Wiseman (Volunteers Manager), Grace Seppuya (Diabetes Nurse)

Staff were asked ‘What actions can you take to encourage this culture of challenging inappropriate behaviour?’. Suggestions included:

  • poster campaigns similar to #NoBystanders
  • training across staff groups so people are mindful of others
  • developing an objective standard to measure and deliver training so there is a consistent approach and people know where they stand
  • asking people to step forward to be champions in their teams
  • providing a safe space for people to challenge behaviour and a range of clear reporting routes
  • being clear and precise, with induction to the Trust and department/ward area inductions, about expectations relating to behaviour and values
  • focus more on changing the conversations people have – transformational conversations with people you may not ordinarily interact with.
  • remember that speaking up should also include listening up.

Key takeaways

  1. Marianne Griffiths asked staff to contribute to building a more inclusive and fair culture.
  2. The WRES Working Group will continue to oversee and develop actions necessary to deliver on the 3 core areas.
  3. As leaders, consider what leaders pay attention to and what they reward – culture emerges from these micro-interactions.