Cumbria, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW), a provider of mental health and disability services, has won two Black History Month awards from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Northern Yorkshire and the Humber.
The awards celebrate the work of individuals, teams, universities, or organisations who have had a positive impact on equality, diversity, and inclusion. The Trust’s team of nineteen Cultural Ambassadors won the Team Award and CNTW won the Organisation Award.
Christopher Rowlands, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead at CNTW, said: “I’m delighted that the Trust’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity has been recognised by the RCN.
“It is also great to hear that the hard work of our Cultural Ambassadors has been acknowledged with an award. Their work has a significant and positive impact on the Trust’s formal disciplinary processes, ensuring fairness and quality at every stage.”
The Cultural Ambassadors were appointed in 2020 after the Trust found a disproportionate number of staff from ethnic minorities were entering formal disciplinary processes compared to white staff.
The ambassadors are extensively trained to ensure any cultural aspects of these cases are raised and challenged appropriately throughout the process, from the fact-finding stage to disciplinary meetings. Cultural Ambassadors are now an integral part of the Trust’s disciplinary processes.
Since the introduction of cultural ambassadors at CNTW, there has been an improvement in the number of staff from ethnic minorities who undergo formal process compared to white staff.
The number of allegations moving into formal investigations has also reduced. Prior to 2020, 40 – 60 percent of cases progressed to formal investigation whereas in 2021/2022 this figure has dropped to just 16 percent.
Edith Russell, a cultural ambassador at CNTW, says: “The award and recognition for our contribution to making CNTW a better place to work for everyone means a lot but there is still plenty of work to do to close the gap between the number of white staff and staff from ethnic minorities staff going through formal processes.
“We would like to ask each of our colleagues to help the organisation work towards its aim of providing an inclusive, accessible, fair, and equal workplace for all staff.”
We would like to ask each of our colleagues to help the organisation work towards its aim of providing an inclusive, accessible, fair, and equal workplace for all staff.Edith RussellCultural Ambassador, CNTW
CNTW has encouraged other Trusts in the region to introduce Cultural Ambassadors and coordinated their training on behalf of the region.
The Trust also won the organisation award for its work to identify and address equality issues in its recruitment process, after an internal report found white job applicants were three times more likely to be appointed than applicants from ethnic minorities.
A four-day event was hosted by the Trust for all stakeholders to consider barriers to equality, diversity and inclusion in the recruitment process and how they could be removed. More than 100 ideas were identified then streamlined and taken forward by a working group.
A key innovation recommended the group was the development of an Application Support Hub where applicants and candidates can access resources to support the application process.