Throughout 2018/19, we have continued to deliver equality and inclusion improvements for our patients and our staff alike. Some highlights from our work over the past year include:
Project SEARCH 2018/19: In September 2018, the Trust welcomed its 7th cohort of Project SEARCH students. Project SEARCH is a unique collaboration which supports young people with learning disabilities transition from education into the world of paid employment. This year we welcomed 10 students from Reading College and Brookfield’s SEN School. Since the start of the project, 19 young people graduating from the programme have secured employment at the Trust, working in a variety of full time and part time roles in departments including the mattress library, endoscopy, medical records and portering services. Additionally, eight graduates have secured paid roles within their local communities with employers outside the NHS.
Community Engagement: Continued community engagement throughout 2018/19 enabled us to connect with our diverse communities and representative patient groups alike. Understanding the needs of our communities enables us to shape improvements based on their feedback.
Work Experience for Young People: In May 2019, we were proud to retain our Gold rating in our Work Experience Quality Standard accreditation undertaken by Fairtrain. The Standard is a national accreditation signaling to prospective candidates the high quality work experience provision for young people at the Trust. Last year we hosted over 300 work experience placements for young people in our communities
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.
Values and Behaviours: Equality and inclusion are central to our new Trust Behaviours Framework (launched September 2018). The framework sets our expectations and responsibilities around our behaviours in key areas such as respect; dignity, professionalism; communication and inclusion.
Accessibility of Information: In April 2018 the Trust launched BrowseAloud on our website. BrowseAloud adds speech and reading support tools to online content to extend the reach of information for those who require reading support. This includes those with dyslexia, learning disabilities, visual impairments and those with English as a second language
The RBFT has become a Diversity Champion, partnering with Stonewall, Europe’s biggest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) charity. This year we have established a staff LGBT+ network and are planning events in the run up to Reading Pride ‘19