Where have we been and where are we going?
Improved Patient Feedback
The Trust has a Patient Experience Centre which contacts patients within 48 hours of their discharge from hospital, asking them to rate their experience; inclusive of staff communication and environmental issues. Board members have in the past participated in the calls to have first hand opportunity to hear what our patients think about our services and we will look to repeat this initiative in the near future.
Patient feedback is reported directly to the wards and the themes and trends are reported to the Patient and Public Participation Group, Clinical Outcome, Safety and Quality Committee and to the Board of Directors.
Outpatient Transformation Project
The Outpatients Governors Assurance and Communications Group was set up as result of the Outpatient’s Staff Survey in 2011 and includes representatives from the Council of Governors. The project group concentrated on the environmental processes and also the cultural changes required to be able to provide a better patient experience. As part of the regular meetings, members of the group are mindful of the different needs around equality, diversity, inclusion, and access. The initiatives assisted the Trust in meeting its Equality Objective. 2- Improved Patient Access and Experience
We have significantly invested in raising the profile of the needs of patients who have a learning disability including staff training and awareness. We are also working to improve our data systems to better capture and monitor information on disability of our patients, and also then take measure to improve our performance and patient experience.
There has been significant work with teams to develop all aspects of the elective care pathway for adults with a learning disability to ensure the pathway meets the needs of this patient group. This included diagnostics, pre-assessment, admission, theatres, recovery, post surgery care and discharge. We have also beneficially worked with community partners to influence pre-admission communication and preparation.
Our LD ‘coffee mornings’ gives our patients with a LD an opportunity to discuss their experience as an in-patients and out-patients which has been influential in changing practice.
Accessible Information Policy – We will be progressively working on our Accessible Information Policy in 2016.
Training and Development
Our comprehensive, interactive and mandatory on-line training programme for staff helps to ensure Equality and Diversity is embedded in their learning experience. All staff have to complete this training upon joining the Trust. We offer staff access to learning that develops them as professionals and enhances the services that we offer.
Apprenticeship programme for Staff – Since 2012 a strong Apprenticeship programme across the Trust enables staff at Bands 1 – 4 to access a qualification relevant to their role. More than 300 staff have participated in the programme who may not have had access to qualifications previously in their careers, with a positive impact on those staff. In the last year, Apprenticeship opportunities have also increased for all staff as the range and level of qualifications we offer continues to develop. For example, we run an in-house Institute of Leadership and Management Level 5 qualification through an apprenticeship which widens access to opportunities.
Apprentice Steps for young adults with learning disabilities -We developed a ground-breaking, multi-award winning Apprenticeship approach “Apprenticeship Steps” for young adults with learning disabilities in the community to give them the skills to be able to participate in the workplace. This offered twice weekly apprentice placements in the Trust whilst helping to build staff awareness and understanding of learning disabilities, and a more positive attitude towards employment of those job seekers. This approach to preparing adults with learning disabilities for the workplace has now been replicated nationally following the pioneering work here at the Trust. Our own participants on the programme have since taken up part time paid and volunteering roles within the Trust.
Mentoring for Luton 6th form College students – In partnership with the college we have offered 6 students mentoring with a Senior Consultant as part of their preparation for applying to study medicine. As well as regular meetings, the young people have had the opportunity to shadow their mentors in the workplace. The aim of the project is to facilitate a wider socio-economic group into medicine.
Focusing on Health Inequalities
In March 2013 we welcomed Non-Executive Directors, Governors, representatives from external organisations, and staff to a one-day seminar “Advancing Equalities and Reducing Health Inequalities Day”. The range of speakers were universally well-received by the audience and talked about the status of regional and national health inequalities, reviewing the way we nurse patients to keep the professional ‘by the bedside’, and the NHS Employers national “Personal, Fair and Diverse” campaign.
As well as inspirational but ‘down to earth’ speakers, there was opportunity to exchange ideas in an open space forum. This resulted in comprehensive report (LINK coming soon) with helpful recommendations
Participation in NHS Initiatives
We have already mentioned above about the “Personal Fair and Diverse” Campaign. We launched our Personal, Fair and Diverse Champions (PFD) at the seminar. To increase our number champions after the 2013 launch we then had a stand in Equalities Week and recruited more staff. We now have more than 40 people signed up to be Personal, Fair and Diverse Champions (PFD) who will help to promote participation in this campaign within the Trust and to help emphasise the importance of personal accountability for equalities. We will be planning initiatives in 2016 to develop the role of the PFD Champions further.
NHS Employers Equality and Diversity Partners – We competed in, and successfully fulfilled the stretching criteria to become a partner in the national NHS Employers Equality and Diversity Partners Programme from 2013 – 2015. This provided us with the opportunity to meet equality experts from other NHS organisations and widen our network across the country. It was a very useful source of ideas and an inspiration for the work we have done.
Workforce and Patient Profile Reporting – We are committed to working towards offering the best employment to our staff and to having a workforce that reflects the community we serve. We are also committed to providing the best service that we can. As a result we regularly analyse our workforce data (Equality Information) to review our progress.