Feedback from patients who use Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s hospital and community services and the staff who work there has been grouped into themes as plans progress towards developing the organisation’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy.
More than 400 responses were received during a period of engagement in the summer. Comments made by patients included:
- Patients need to feel comfortable about expressing their views on treatment and care in the hospital
- Listen to women giving birth, to allow them to birth with cultural sensitivity where it is safe to do so
- Make sure everyone is treated the same regardless of gender and lifestyle choices
Some of the comments made by staff included:
- We need immediate dismissal of anyone who has racist views
- Treat staff fairly – remove the “face fits” culture
- Provide education for staff on how to treat and approach LGBTQ+ patients
Rajpal Virdee, who chairs Walsall Healthcare’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group said: “We have been able to group the feedback into ten themes and the very clear message coming from staff is that they want to see people held to account for their unacceptable behaviour; behaviour that does not reflect out trust values and threatens our efforts to create an inclusive and supportive environment for all.
“Patients have told us they want to be included more in their treatment and the decisions that affect them and interestingly, they also highlighted recruitment – asking us to ensure our recruitment policies are inclusive of the communities we represent.
“We want to once again thank everyone who took the time to tell us their views. We discussed the themes at our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group meeting last week and while some of the comments made were, sadly, not a surprise to us, we are all determined to play our part in ensuring they are acted upon. We have been very clear that this isn’t a tick box exercise; we want to see positive change and will work together, with our partners, to bring about meaningful improvement.”
The full survey responses and feedback will be shared at a Trust Board Development day in early October where Board members will have the opportunity to digest the feedback and develop a set of ambitious strategic objectives for the next three years which are focused on making significant and tangible improvements in the workplace culture at Walsall Healthcare
An EDI Strategy implementation plan that covers the next three years will be finalised and shared with those who gave their feedback. From this, a programme of work will be established as part of the trust’s Valuing Colleagues programme of work with clearly defined outcomes and objectives that can be measured.
Rajpal added that while there are still many challenges for the trust, there was also positive feedback showing Walsall Healthcare staff who are committed to promoting good practice and inclusive culture.
This feedback included the following comments:
- I think we have made progress in regards to inclusion, there is a flattened hierarchy compared to a few years ago and the seniors have opened doors and are quite visible now
- I don’t feel that there are any issues in my immediate team with regards to embracing diversity
- I am new to the trust so nothing needs to be changed from what I have seen so far – I do believe there is a real commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion at Walsall
- We have done quite a lot to celebrate diversity over the past few years and have hosted specific events on the ward such as Pride month and Diwali. We have a very inclusive approach in our team and we all love coming to work here.
“This should be celebrated and built upon,” he said. “We want to have a trust which is striving towards becoming anti-discriminatory.
“I would also urge staff, patients and their families to continue giving us feedback around their EDI experiences – good and bad. We need them to have a voice, a voice that we listen to.”