Throughout 2016/17, we continued to strive to deliver equality and inclusion improvements for our patients and our staff alike - with our Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) and Equality Delivery System 2 (EDS2) assessments providing a springboard for action across a range of areas. Some of our achievements and innovations over the past year include:
Project Search: Our ground breaking programme supporting young people with learning disabilities into employment through structured work experience placements celebrated its 5th anniversary this year. Once again, over 60% of all students who have participated in the programme have secured paid, substantive employment post involvement in the programme. This year we have also expanded the reach of the programme, engaging with other organisations in our locality to involve them in potential career pathways for students.
Patient Information and Translation Service: Growth in our patient information services and translation provision continues to meet the needs and demands of our culturally diverse population groups.
Implementation of the Accessible Information Standard: The Accessible Information Standard directs and defines a specific, consistent approach to identifying, recording, flagging, sharing and meeting the information and communication support needs of patients, service users, carers and parents, where those needs relate to a disability, impairment or sensory loss. We continue to develop our IT systems, booking and administration processes and also staff training, such that the Trust will be fully compliant with the standard by July 2017.
Work Experience for Young People: In January 2017 we received a Gold rating in our Work Experience Quality Standard accreditation undertaken by Fairtrain. The Standard is a national accreditation signalling to prospective candidates the high quality work experience provision for young people at the Trust.
Supporting Carers: We recognise the important role carers play and the benefits that carers bring to patients and the community. Over the past year we have worked hard to improve the support to carers to engage with carers to become active partners with us. We’ve developed a Carers Charter; Improved Information Resources for Carers and worked with other partner organisations such as the Alzheimers society and the Berkshire Carers Hub to host events and develop support networks.
Improving the experience of staff: We have delivered improvements in the experience of staff across a range of equality measures. Our staff survey data shows that in 2016/17 relative to 2015/16, our staff report experiencing significantly less discrimination whilst at work, whilst disabled staff are significantly more likely to agree that adequate adjustments have been made to enable them to carry out their work. There is always more to do, but we were pleased once again to retain our Disability Confident Employer accreditation from the Department of Work and Pensions – which signals our good work and commitment to the recruitment and retention of staff with disabilities in the workplace.
We were proud to celebrate LGBT+ history month and in February 2017 joined the Thames Valley Employers LGBT Good Practice Network to share experience and effect improvements in LGBT equality for staff and service users alike.