Nottinghamshire Healthcare has been placed top in Stonewall's 2015 Workplace Equality Index, which features the best employers in Britain for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) people.
The integrated healthcare provider scored 193 points out of a possible 200.
This is the best rating that the Trust has received in the seven years that it has been in the Index, improving on last year's position of second. The result reflects the Trust's commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, demonstrating its ability to ensure that the services provided truly reflect the needs of its diverse communities. It has also continued to share best practice with other organisations within the private, public and third sectors, to help support further improvements in this area.
A key focus for the Trust this year was around demonstrating leadership in the NHS/Health arena in LGB Equality; by advising and supporting other organisations in their equality journey and leading by example. Targeted training for staff highlighted the needs and barriers often experienced by distinct groups e.g. biphobia, same sex parents, the prison/secure hospital population, lesbian/gay women etc. The ever increasing number of Straight Allies, who have pledged to be proactive in supporting LGB issues and tackling discrimination in all forms, continue to help LGB patients, carers and staff to express their individuality in an open and welcoming environment. The Trust also has a number of LGB role models at all levels of the organisation of all ages, abilities, faiths, races etc. Through their authenticity and experience these individuals provide support and advice, raise awareness and understanding and invariably inspire others. Engaging with our diverse communities on the issues which affect them and improving their experience of our services was also a key feature of our work as was working with partners in the campaign to eradicate hate crime.
Catherine Conchar, Head of Equality and Diversity said: “We are delighted with this achievement. It is a wonderful recognition of the hard work and commitment of the Trust to be an employer and service provider of choice for all of our diverse communities. Engaging with lesbian, gay and bisexual service users, carers and communities continues to be a very positive and valuable experience and actively helps improve the services we provide.
We will continue through the Trust's values, to develop a supportive environment where all staff can be themselves at work should they choose. We will continue to work hard to improve our performance as we strive to go from good to great”
The Trust was scored on evidence submitted to demonstrate workplace culture and activity, including leadership, policy, practice, procurement and service user engagement. This included a confidential staff survey which allowed LGB and straight staff to openly sharing their workplace experiences.
Ruth Hawkins, Chief Executive, said: “I am absolutely delighted to lead an organisation that has been named as Stonewall's Employer of the Year for 2015. The Trust has an outstanding reputation for its proactive approach to all strands of equality and diversity and it is great to see this recognised in such a prestigious annual assessment. This outcome does credit to our outstanding staff group who treat every patient, service user and carer with dignity and respect, in a work environment where all employees are able to reach their full potential. Having appeared in the Workplace Index for a number of years it is especially rewarding to see that our continued efforts to tackle discrimination and create an inclusive workplace have been recognised.”
The number of companies participating in the index – now in its eleventh year – has more than doubled since 2006. Senior representatives from the Trust and the LGBT Forum attended the Workplace Equality Index Launch on 14 January in London.