Background Chatbox discussions during sessions at the Hospice UK virtual conference in April 2021 identified an appetite and need for a shared space about equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) processes, structures and outputs in both service delivery and workforce contexts.
Aims To draw together practitioners from a range of different functions and levels in hospices to share best practice and information about ongoing and topical EDI issues through a regular networking platform; and so improve EDI engagement across the sector generally.
Methods May 2021 – call-out via email to 30 chat participants to canvass interest in collaboration and what strategic, operational and other EDI issues were particularly important to them. May to July 2021 – scoping responses received from the call-out to form a structure for discussion and future meetings around five key themes: Strategic direction; Data; Under-representation; Culture; and Working with diversity. The scoping formed the basis of a workshop exercise prior to the first meeting of the EDI Network to rank the themes in order of priority to members.
Results A series of dates were presented to the group and the first mainly introductory meeting held in October 2021. Further scheduled meeting dates were agreed for February, June and September 2022. Outside of meeting attendances, membership of the group has since increased through referrals to 58 as at the time of preparing this abstract.
Conclusion The hospice EDI Network has shown itself to be of value to the sector and further engagement is planned to define specific outputs. Member hospices include a range of service/operating models and representatives are drawn from all staff levels and specialisms, enabling a truly holistic exploration of challenges and issues to be raised.
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