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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
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Mental health trust recognised nationally for its commitment to improving equality, diversity and inclusion

Published: 22/01/2019

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) has been recognised by two national bodies for its ongoing commitment to improving equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), both in its workplace and in the care it provides to people who are experiencing mental ill health.

On Thursday 17 January, the Trust scooped the award for ‘Most Innovative EDI Initiative of the year’ award in the National Centre for Diversity’s Grand Awards 2019. This was for its interesting and thought provoking series of 'In Conversation’ sessions which have seen a range of high profile figures talking about their own experiences of encountering inequalities. Organised by the Trust’s Community Engagement and Inclusion Team, the wide range of topics covered have included  Peter Tatchell talking about the courage required to campaign on human rights and LGBT issues, Imran Khan QC discussing race equality in the UK after the Stephen Lawrence case and BBC broadcast journalist Jane Garvey discussing the gender pay gap and gender inequalities.

EDI awards

The sessions, which have been attended by staff, service users, carers and representatives from local partner agencies, provide a space to discuss the harm caused by inequalities and encourage others to challenge these inequalities both within and outside the workplace.

This was followed on Monday 21 January by the news that the Trust had risen over 100 places in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 2019, from 246th in 2018 to 135th in 2019. The Stonewall Workplace Equality Index is now in its 15th year and represents organisations that are leading the way in making workplaces more LGBT inclusive and ensuring that LGBT employees, customers and service users can be safe, accepted and respected.   At BSMHFT, this includes having an active and visible LGBT+ staff network, with executive sponsorship, that is able to highlight the issues faced by LGBT staff and service users and is empowered to make changes to address these.

John Short, Chief Executive at the Trust, said:

“We are absolutely committed to embedding equality, diversity and inclusion in everything we do, eliminating inequalities and improving the lives of our staff, our service users and their carers.  While we know there is still a lot of work for us to do, this national recognition reflects the tangible improvements we are making to people’s experience of the Trust, and the dedication of our staff at all levels of the Trust to make a real difference in this area.”