Background St Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds provides care and support for patients and families in a vibrant, multi-cultural city. Through community engagement work we have identified gaps and improved access to hospice services right across the communities of Leeds, but this is not reflected in our workforce. Like many hospices we have poor representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities in the workforce, especially in clinical and education services. Supported by the Employee Engagement Group, the trustees, and Human Resources this year, we started a Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic staff network aiming to:
Develop and maintain a representative workforce.
Hear shared experiences and highlight common issues.
Raise the profile of the contribution of Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic staff.
Influence strategy and service development.
Ensure all staff reach their potential.
What we did All staff from a Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic background, in all services across the hospice, were personally invited to the first network meeting. It was held face-to-face, in a COVID-19 secure environment. The network was led by a member of the finance team and Chair of the Employee Engagement Group, with an academic fellow who gave a presentation about COVID-19 and the impact on Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic communities and the importance of vaccination.
How it’s going: To date four meetings have been held, with over 75% of our Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic staff attending at least one meeting. The group have set their own agenda, have shared their experiences of working at St Gemma’s and had another presentation by one of the trustees, who has set up a similar network in primary care in the city. Staff are enthusiastic about the network, are keen to share and influence the organisation, with the next steps of agreeing a name for the group, creating some terms of reference and a plan for the year.
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