Background Equality and diversity should be integrated into palliative care (Care Quality Commission, 2016). Awareness of our patients’ unique demographics helps individualise their care. Discrimination and assumptions should be avoided (Marie Curie, 2016; Baillie & Matiti, 2012). Fear of this may inhibit certain groups from accessing care. Analysis of previous patient data identified certain demographics, particularly religious beliefs and sexual orientation, were consistently poorly recorded.
Aims Evaluate staff beliefs, knowledge and skills surrounding equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in the organisation. Use results to shape staff training.
Method Online anonymised survey sent to all staff via email. Areas covered include staff role, importance of EDI to practice, how often they ask patients about disability, religious beliefs, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, comfort in doing so and whether the hospice encourages a culture of EDI.
Results 62 responses:
33 nurses, seven doctors, five therapists, 17 non–clinical
100% rated awareness of disability and beliefs as important to their role, 93% ethnicity and gender identity, 83% sexual orientation.
69% of staff do not ask about sexual orientation, 64% do not ask about gender identity.
Most common reason for not asking: ‘fear of making patient uncomfortable’ – 23% of staff chose this for sexual orientation and gender identity.
Majority preferred to seek information by asking patients directly but high number (33% for ethnicity and sexual orientation) stated they made assumptions based on patient interaction.
80% felt face to face best to collect this information, 58% thought form would be suitable.
Asked whether organisation encourages culture of EDI for patients – 8.7% of staff responded ‘no’, 32.6% ‘unsure’. 22% ‘unsure’ whether EDI encouraged amongst staff.
Conclusions Findings clearly demonstrate work needs to be done to promote EDI in the hospice. EDI has now been incorporated into all staff’s mandatory training. New working group set up, seeking to promote EDI and increase accessibility to less represented groups.