Ranked No.10 – 2019/2020

With numerous resources devoted to D&I, it is no surprise that University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) were the highest-ranking public sector organisation on the List, featuring in 10th place. UHMBT provides community and hospital services across the Morecambe Bay area, an area covering a thousand square miles from Millom, across south Cumbria and covering Lancaster, Morecambe and north Lancashire. It operates the three hospital sites – Furness General Hospital in Barrow, the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal, as well as numerous community healthcare premises across the area. They provide integrated hospital and community services, as well as working with partners across nine Integrated Care Communities in the area, grouped around GP Practices.

Ensuring the best possible experience for colleagues and patients is at the heart of their Inclusion and Diversity Strategy – understanding and learning from current lived experience, to make improvements that are far reaching and make a real difference to people in their communities. UHMBT has a number of procedures to help staff understand the organisations commitments to equality of opportunity, which starts on the employee journey even before they begin in post. They have a public facing webpage for Inclusion and Diversity which enables staff and patients to understand how seriously they take equality and diversity. On that page are their various action plans together with their overall 5 year ‘Towards Inclusion’ strategy (2016-2021), as well as details of the networks and meetings dates.

Following on from the recruitment process, their corporate induction which is mandatory for all staff, covers information and contact details for their inclusion and diversity staff networks (BME, LGBT, Gender, Disability, Forces, EU, Religion and Belief, Respect, Personal Fair and Diverse champions & new network about to be launched: Carers network). In addition, they have a mandatory Equality and Diversity training course, which is essential to all roles that staff complete every three years.

In partnership with CETAD at Lancaster University, the Trust has developed a half day Inclusive Behaviours workshop. 18 colleagues from the Workforce & Organisational Development and Inclusion teams have participated in a Train the Trainer module and so far have delivered 56 workshops involving over 800 colleagues since September 2018. Two workshops per week are being delivered to enable all colleagues to take part over the next five years. As well as threading inclusive behaviours and leadership themes throughout internal leadership development programmes, a new Inclusive Leadership module has been approved which will be delivered to the Trust’s 300 most senior leaders during Autumn / Winter 2019/20.

UHMBT have a monthly inclusion and equality publication called ‘Network News’, which pulls together updates from the inclusion networks and also any wider communications which contribute to this agenda. The newsletter is distributed directly to over 180 inclusion network members and this publication is also directly linked to the Trust wide newsletter which is circulated to all staff. The Trust also features a weekly ‘Friday message’ from the Chief Executive and this regularly includes a news update on an area of the Inclusion and Diversity work programme.

As well as the national Workforce Race Equality Standards, the Gender Pay Gap reporting and the NHS Equality Delivery System, the trust have developed their own local disability (replaced this year with the national NHS Workforce Disability Standard) and Sexual Orientation workforce metrics. Their RESPECT Champions – who provide advice and support to staff regarding Dignity and Respect at Work related issues, are now entering year 3, with 15 champions who received bespoke training including an equality related module.

In May 2018, the Careers & Engagement Team were approached by Brian Evans (Lead Nurse for Learning Disabilities, Autism and Complex Needs) and Dianne Smith (Matron for Dementia) to design a programme which would upskill young people with learning difficulties and give them the opportunity to gain work experience within the hospitals at UHMB. The first of its kind locally in the NHS, this programme has been developed in conjunction with the Right2Work team at the Oaklea Trust. The Supported Internship programme is a DfE approved scheme for young adults aged between 16 and 24 years with an Educational Health Care Plan. The aim – to offer a ‘hands on’ approach and to support each learner to integrate into the world of work.

Community engagement and patient experience involvement benefits the trust by using a comprehensive range of opportunities and methods for the public to get involved. Over the past year, The Equality of Access to Health Network has helped the trust to review a number of key services including ophthalmology, maternity, health screening, children’s, young people and cancer pathways.

They continue to ensure people with dementia, Autism and or Learning Disabilities health needs are being met in appropriate and effective ways by holding community “What Matters Events” and the public promotion of health care passports. They support monthly Dementia events via locality hubs in Kendal, Barrow in Furness, Lancaster and Morecambe, and have held 2 further LD & Autism events in Barrow and Lancaster; the aim of these events is to gather information and feedback from people with autism, their family, carers and representatives to improve their services. The aim of the hospital passport is to assist people with dementia, autism or learning disabilities to provide hospital staff with important information about them and their health when they are admitted to hospital. They now have over 450 completed patient passports loaded into their patient recording system.

The ‘Maternity and Children 7 Young People Matters in Morecambe Bay’ events saw members of the public speaking to UHMBT staff and partner health organisations about their experiences of local maternity services. ‘Conversation cafes’ were held and feedback, which is now being reviewed to make further improvements from the event was gathered in various ways from notes written on table cloths, to a ‘Wall of Conversation’.

UHMBT are one of the 200 hospitals who are launching a dedicated scheme that support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) patients. The new Rainbow Badge initiative gives staff and volunteers the opportunity to show their support for LGBT+ patients and staff. At UHMBT this is being linked to their LGBT awareness training, so staff who are wearing the badge have knowledge and understanding to support staff and patients who may reach out to them because of the visible display of the badge.

The Trust has recently tested a new way of providing language including British Sign Language interpretation services in their ED department at FGH. The service offers spoken and visual communication to reduce the risk of misunderstanding by capturing body language and facial expressions to read visual cues. InSight® video remote interpreting (VRI) empowers their clinical staff to provide outstanding service and exceptional care, on-demand, to the Limited English Proficient and the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing through the power of video interpreters.

The Inclusion and Diversity agenda at UHMB continues development at a massive scale in line with the 5 year strategy. UHMBT approach is about learning from evidence based best practice, and actively seeking out and listening to the lived experience of staff and service users to make improvements and become an organisation that is a Great Place to be Cared For; Great Place to work for every individual.