An NHS trust with hospitals in Cumbria has been recognised for its work to improve diversity.
University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) has won the Diverse Company Award in the National Diversity Awards (NDAs) 2020.
A record 60,000 people made nominations in the last year alone with 126 nominees being recognised for their various achievements nationwide. Karmini McCann, head of culture transformation at UHMBT, accepted the award on behalf of the trust at the awards ceremony at Liverpool Cathedral on September 17.
Karmini said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won the Diverse Company Award. This is testament to the commitment of everyone within our trust who has championed and worked hard to ensure that diversity is celebrated, understood and welcomed.
“We were put forward for this award, I understand, for our work pre-pandemic and then on how we responded quickly, and in partnership, to support colleagues through the pandemic.
“This is very much about recognising the work of our Inclusion Networks and how we have worked together to keep colleagues safe and looked after. We still have important work to do, but it is right that we recognise the amazing hard work that so many people have put in over the years – with the impact being felt by our colleagues and our patients. Thank you all and well done.”
Gillian Day, project lead for strategic recruitment and retention and forces network chair, said: “This prestigious award recognises all of the work that we have been doing to make our trust continuously more inclusive.
“A huge amount of work has taken place over the last few years to help improve the experience of our colleagues, including the development of our Disability, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME), Forces, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender+ (LGBT+), Gender, Carers, Women’s and other staff networks.
“We have also worked to ensure that all staff know how they should be treating colleagues and how they should expect to be treated. This work is ongoing and we are committed to striving for more and even greater improvements.”
Hannah Chandisingh, lead for race equality at UHMBT, said: “I am so pleased to see this recognition for colleagues in all roles who have truly gone above and beyond to ensure colleagues from all backgrounds are as safe as possible throughout the pandemic. We still have a long way to go but we are passionate about working together to make our hospitals more inclusive, and to make a real difference to the lives of our colleagues, friends and patients.”
One example of the trust’s work to improve diversity is its Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) network, which aims to create a supportive working environment for BAME colleagues and encourages all staff to understand the needs of the BAME community.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the trust has been supporting BAME colleagues with the latest advice and guidance as well as practical help with health-related matters.
Other examples include:
- Disability Staff Network (DSN) which is open to all employees, volunteers and students with a disability as well as colleagues who want to help support people with a disability. This network aims to make sure that the trust is a safe and inclusive environment for people with different disabilities and encourages all staff to understand the needs of individuals.
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender+ (LGBT+) staff network aims to maintain a supportive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender colleagues and make sure that all staff understand the needs of LGBT+ individuals. This group also makes sure that policies and decisions made across the trust consider the LGBT+ community and provides confidential support and advice to all staff.
- ‘Respect Champions’ who voluntarily carry out their role alongside their contracted post. Coming from all disciplines and sites within the trust, their primary role is to provide confidential support for colleagues who feel they are victims of bullying, harassment or incivility.