Demonstrating our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Human Rights

This year is the seventh Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week, which exists as a platform for NHS organisations to highlight their work to create a fairer, more inclusive NHS for both patients and colleagues who work in the NHS.

The theme for the week is ‘diverse, inclusive, together’ and is co-ordinated by NHS Employers and gives NHS organisations the opportunity to showcase the work they do and highlight their achievements.

The NHS is the largest employer in Europe, with over 1.3 million staff. The NHS has many examples of good work to promote fairness and inclusion, including here in Doncaster. Events are taking place daily as part of this national campaign.

This year we have helped fundraise for local mental health charity, People Focused Group, to provide a garden for service users to relax in. We also supported the PFG’s ‘Walk for Wellness’ last October.

We are also supporting Mental Health Awareness Week and during this week, we want to promote the key message that ‘It’s ok not to be okay’ – and we all can benefit from spending some time asking our colleagues, family and friends how they are feeling and listening to their response.

Doncaster CCG got into the mood earlier this month to support the Tour de Yorkshire, as the cycling extravaganza came into Doncaster and used the event to highlight the links between exercise and mental well-being.

We have supported and led various pieces of work over the last 12 months to address equality, diversity and health inequalities. With Co:create, we led an extensive piece of engagement work with Gypsy and Traveller communities in Doncaster. This work will continue and a number of recommendations that have been identified as a result of the work will be implemented in the months ahead.

We are also making best use of a national data pack available to all CCGs, produced nationally to support health and care systems design and deliver services that work to reduce health inequalities, and to improve access to services and health outcomes for our diverse local populations. The data pack considers measures of health inequality and aims to support CCGs and health systems to identify areas of improvement. Previously such analysis has not been available at CCG level but will now be used and available to all commissioning leads to ensure we plan services that are available and accessible for all.

The NHS celebrated its 70th Birthday last year and we had a marvellous week of activities in Doncaster, showcasing the diversity of our health and care sector and promoting the NHS as a career. The ‘Inspiring the Future’ Programme was launched as part of NHS70 and this provides an important opportunity to shout out about the 350+ different jobs available in the NHS.