The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust has passed their Staff Equality, Diversity and Inclusion audit inspection in all areas.
The internal audit by Audit Yorkshire, in line with the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards, was to provide assurance to the Trust on the progress made in addressing the requirements outlined in the NHS People Plan; guidance on Staff Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI).
The overall opinion of the report was that MYHT’s EDI agenda has become much more visible throughout the Trust since the start of the pandemic; the EDI team, whilst still small, has grown; and the staff networks are an integral part of the Trust.
The impact of EDI measures is primarily monitored by triangulating information from sources such as the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES), Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) with assurance reported to the Resource and Performance Committee and the Trust Board.
The report highlights that the Trust Race Equality Network was established in December 2019 and has made good progress to date; supporting staff and COVID-19 risk assessments, vaccination, wellbeing, delivering BAME Board seminars and other events, and championing inclusion. It also highlights that the Trust has recently set up an LGBTQ+ Network which aims to create a supportive space for LGBTQ+ colleagues that raises the visibility of the community at the Trust that can influence decision making.
In the report the Trust scored particularly high on information and education. Mandatory EDI training is available through a number of means within the Trust; it also forms part of the Trust’s corporate induction which is attended by all new starters. As well as this, other sessions such as religion and cultural awareness are available to all staff along with e-learning materials.
The audit outlines that it is the responsibility of the chief executive and senior leadership team to lead on EDI. The report evidences that there is a strong system of internal control at MYHT which is designed and operating effectively to ensure success. As part of the Trust’s ‘root out racism’ campaign, all directors took a pledge to set out what they would like to do to fight racism in our workplace and in our communities.
MYHT also signed a memorandum of understanding with BAPIO (The British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin) which is a non-profit organisation open to all healthcare professionals, promoting EDI.
Regular communications are shared by senior leaders at the Trust via a weekly email sent to all staff, which in recent months has included detailed articles on Ramadan awareness, black history month and LGBTQ+ history month.
Len Richards, Chief Executive of the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said;
“The review confirmed the effort and achievement by all involved in the EDI agenda at our Trust that we are immensely proud of.
“MYHT is committed to promoting equality, diversity and human rights in its day to day treatment of all patients, visitors and staff.
“Every day we make progress to address workforce inequalities at our Trust but we know we still have work to do. We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure every person is able to fulfil their potential at work.
Last week we launched our first Disabilities and Long-term Conditions staff Network who, I’m sure, will provide a powerful way for all staff to engage with people with expertise on matters related to EDI.
Our efforts have been stalled by COVID-19 pressures but we are actively addressing all of the nine areas highlighted for action in the ‘Belonging in the NHS’ section of the NHS People Plan in order to create a fair and compassionate culture where everyone feels that they belong, are included, valued and respected and can progress as a unique individual.”