The CSP is extending its equality rep pilot for a further year. As part of this, we are looking to recruit another 30 members to become equality reps. Are you passionate about supporting equity, diversity and belonging in your workplace? Find out how you can get involved
In 2021 a pilot project to turn more CSP members into workplace representatives was launched. Nine equality reps, accredited as stewards with an equalities focus, were elected in NHS trusts and health boards across England and Scotland.
The role aimed to enhance the fantastic work being carried out by CSP stewards on equity, diversity and belonging. Equality reps do not take on casework but can assist stewards with equality related issues and become a point of contact for both stewards and members at their workplace.
Declan Nwachukwu is an equality rep at Horsham hospital. He explains some of the work he has been doing together with steward Michaela Neale.
‘In our trust, we have a recognised health equities group. The group ensures that the care delivered to our patients is equitable. As part of the group, we have launched cultural competence sessions across both sites to increase clinicians’ understanding of the topic and ensure it is something we are striving to achieve in our daily practice.
‘The group also recently conducted a survey exploring clinicians experiences using language line and translator services. Based on the information gathered we were able to create a quick reference guide for clinicians to use whenever they require interpreter services, to allow for a more comfortable clinician-patient experience.
‘We have begun collecting data on patient ethnicity and other protected characteristics. We hope that this will enable us to identify any potential patient groups that we are not reaching and ensure our services are easily accessible to everyone from our local community.
‘As part of our student induction package, all students who start a placement at our Horsham site have time blocked out of their diary with myself to explain my role as equalities rep and to ensure that they are aware of the work being done within the service and the CSP to tackle inequalities. I hope this will help students to feel supported and empowered to confront any inequalities they observe while on placement with us or in their future careers.’
In Edinburgh, equality reps Elizabeth Cachia and Kyrsta MacDonald work at Western General Hospital. They produce a popular monthly equality newsletter which shows where to find out further information about upcoming CSP events.
Additionally, the newsletter offers bite-sized information on anything from religion to LGBTQIA+ issues, alongside challenges facing disabled members and how to be an ally and organise using the CSP diversity networks.
Most of the equality reps visited the CSP training venue last year with organisers Iain Croker and Alice Spilsbury. The first time everyone had met in person, the group discussed the role and the pilot project. Feedback from the reps, together with interviews from stewards and members and CSP staff formed the basis of an evaluation which concluded that the pilot needed to be expanded in order to better test the impact of the equality rep role.
If you would like more information about becoming an equality rep in your NHS workplace. Full training will be provided (online) and as you will be accredited as a steward you will receive paid time off from work to complete this as well as your duties.
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