BAME Inclusion Taskforce
In October 2020, in response to the devastating effects we saw that COVID-19 was having on people from black, asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, and the tragic death of George Floyd in America, which shone a spotlight on the Black Lives Matter movement, Claire Dove, Non-Executive Director, was asked to lead a BAME Inclusion Taskforce to consider and agree the steps we need to take to remove processes and barriers in Alder Hey that could sustain systemic racism. With that remit, we are working to ensure that we support staff from all backgrounds to have a positive experience, and that our plans specifically support opportunity for education and employment for under-represented groups. We want our Trust to be a beacon of best practice – to be reflective of the community we serve, and to ensure our staff have the best experience.
The Taskforce is made up of a group of Non-Executives, Executives, senior managers and staff from BAME backgrounds, all of whom can make a difference. The Taskforce has developed a clear plan of action. Our first job however was to listen; to listen to the experiences, thoughts and feelings of our BAME colleagues. We invited every member of staff that had declared themselves of a BAME background on our Electronic Service Record (ESR) to take part in a series of shared ‘listening’ events, facilitated by Claire, or, if they would prefer, to have a one-to-one conversation with Claire, to share their experiences more privately. And – wow – what a response we had!
The listening events were brilliant. We were able to listen to the experiences of many staff that were kind enough to share them with us. We heard from consultants, from a matron, from nurses and from technical and administrative staff, and we have put everything that we learnt into a full report that we delivered to the Trust Board in early 2021.
We have developing a campaign that features on our website homepage called ‘A Face Like Mine’. The campaign gets its name from the assertion that every child that comes through the doors at Alder Hey should feel the comfort of seeing a face like their own. Who could possibly not want that for the poorly children that we treat, and their worried families? It’s this aim that will drive the campaign, and the web page includes stories of our BAME colleagues’ professional (and personal) journeys from childhood, to inspire children with what’s possible. It will also be a home for targeted recruitment campaigns, and will include educational material to be shared with other healthcare organisations and public bodies.
In addition to the development of the Taskforce, we have recently established the LGBTQIA+ staff network, and are in the process of doing the same for staff who have seen and unseen disabilities. We are committed to ensuring that everyone at Alder Hey has a voice, and that we learn and grow from their experiences. Our aim is to make Alder Hey a great place to work for everyone, and this is just one way we are continuing to listen to what staff are telling us makes a great place to work, and make that happen.