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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

Staff networks

better together - Ann Cooper

BME Professional Development Forum

What is meant by BME?

Black Minority Ethnicity (BME) is a term used to describe a person from a visible ethnic minority and is used by a number of public bodies in the UK.   We use the term BME to include all people who are not white british and therefore include those who are of Irish or East European descent.

Who we are

Documented research has shown that BME staff in the NHS face greater barriers in attaining promotion, education and professional development. This staff group are also more likely to face discrimination from patients and colleagues than other groups.

The BME Professional Development Forum is a network of BSMHFT staff from multi-disciplinary backgrounds across the whole trust.  The network is an open and non-formal forum fully supported by the chief executive and deputy director of human resources who are also active key members of the forum.

  • To work in partnership with all relevant networks and organisations.

  • To raise concerns of discrimination with senior leaders, organisational policy makers or policy holders in NHS organisations in BSMHFT.

  • To promote equality of opportunity in employment.

  • The forum will promote the interest of BME staff and service users at all levels.

  • Encourage/ inform social and networking events for ethnic minority staff.

  • To share best practice and highlight practises which address inequalities for staff and service users.

  • To achieve better professional and personal outcomes for BME staff and provide positive role models within the organisation.

Our Current Agenda - The Development Programme for BME Managers

The aim of the programme is to create and sustain high performing individuals and prepare future BME Leaders with the skills, confidence and competencies to develop into different or more senior roles within BSMHFT.  This programme is modelled on the national BME Leadership Development Programme, which is delivered by the NHS Institute for Innovation and improvement and will link into the Knowledge Skills Framework within BSMHFT.  The development programme will operate as a pilot in the first instance and will take place over a 12 month period.  For more information, please contact the network via bsmhft.bmeinclusion@nhs.net

LGBT Staff and Volunteers Network Group

What is meant by LGBT?

LGBT (GBLT) is a term which refer’s collectively to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. In use since the 1990s, the term LBGT is intended to emphasise a diversity of ‘sexual and gender identity-based cultures’ and is sometimes used to refer to anyone who is non-heterosexual instead of exclusively to people who are homosexual, bisexual or transgender.

Who we are

The group consists of LGBT staff/volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds. We have grown

The reason for having a LGBT support group
  • To ensure that LGBT staff/volunteers have a voice within the trust

  • To support staff who have any LGBT issues (including harassment and bullying and coming out problems)

  • To ensure that the trust’s policies and practices are LGBT impact assessed

  • To allow LGBT staff time to meet, discuss relevant issues and to share experiences.

What we have achieved so far
  • Recognition for the Trust as a Stonewall Diversity Champion

  • We have a confidential email address for staff to access and a name and telephone number for staff to phone if they have any issues

  • We have given feedback on several policies

  • We have set up a page on the staff Intranet with all the minutes from our meetings that also acts as a forum to receive any queries about LGBT+ matters

  • We've attended LGBT+ events such as Birmingham Pride, and have hosted our own events such as the LGBT+ Celebration Event that took place on 14 February 2016.
  • We run monthly LGBT+ Network meetings to discuss LGBT matters.
  • We have our own active Twitter account that we use to share news and events (@BSMHFTLGBT)

What we would like to achieve in the future - Action Plan for the next 12 months
  • Guest speakers at our LGBT network meetings i.e. heads of departments, other diversity groups etc

  • New staff being informed about the group in their induction

  • Diversity conference in October

  • Develop membership of the group

For more information, please contact the network via bsmhft.lgbtstaffnetwork@nhs.net

Disability Staff Network

Who are we and what we do?

We are a group of BSMHFT staff with visible and non-visible disabilities and impairments.

  • We are from multi-disciplinary backgrounds across the whole of the trust .

  • We are of different gender, ethnicity, religion/faith, age and sexual orientation.

  • We are an open group and we are supported by the trust with interest and active support from the deputy director of human resources.

  • We have direct support from key HR personnel who are key members of the group.

  • We have a democratic structure with a focus on engaging with and listening to staff.

  • We maintain links to the trust board via the director of community engagement.

We are here to make a difference to the experience of staff within BSMHFT. We influence policy and decision making within the trust and we have a voice which is listened to. The network is about sharing best practice and the empowerment of staff members, supporting non-disabled staff and managers by raising awareness of issues relating to disability, ensuring that the trust benefits from disabled employees’ experience and improves policy and practice as a result. We act as a consultative group when looking to improve accessibility and as a resource for disabled staff to express their views/concerns.

What have we achieved so far?
  • We have had direct input into our trust’s Disability Equality Scheme (DES) and the Single Equality Scheme

  • Inputted into policy and procedural consultation.

  • Sign posted staff to relevant agencies to support their concerns.

  • Developed a confidential email address that any staff can access for advice and support.

  • We have challenged the trust to look at issues related to reasonable adjustments and accessibility.

  • We are continuing to work alongside the estates and facilities team, ensuring that issues such as accessibility, car parking and adjustments to buildings etc remain high on the agenda.

  • We are working alongside HR and managers to support staff with disabilities.

So what’s our overall objective?

We aim

  • to make the network pro-active in the business of the trust to ensure staff with disabilities or impairments are represented equitably and are listened to.

  • to raise awareness of the issues which impact on staff with a disability to improve the confidence of our staff, service users’, patients’ and customers’ in the services we provide as a Trust.

  • to improve our network as we progress, engaging with staff to ensure positive experiences within BSMHFT for both existing and new staff.

For more information, please contact the network via bsmhft.disabilitystaffnetworksm@nhs.net