The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust (QEH) has launched an initiative to promote inclusivity at the Trust and celebrate the diversity of its patients and workforce.
Named ‘See Me First’, the initiative launched at QEH during Black History Month and so far more than 200 colleagues have signed a personalised pledge to uphold the Trust’s values and send a message that they belong to an open and non-judgemental organisation, treating all Black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues and patients with respect.
Every member of Team QEH who has signed the pledge will wear the See Me First badge to symbolise that they stand together against discrimination and are committed to ensuring that QEH’s services are open to all. The badge comprises six-colours, which although not an exact science, represents the differing levels of melanin in skin tones.
The initiative has been spearheaded by QEH’s Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) Staff Network. The Network meets once a month with the ambition of providing a safe space for colleagues to share their experiences, educate colleagues, and promote a more inclusive hospital for patients and staff.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is high on the Trust’s agenda, driven by its strategic objectives which align with the NHS People Plan. The See Me First campaign also actively promotes the Trust’s values of Kindness, Wellness and Fairness.
The Trust held its first dedicated QEH Diversity Day on Wednesday 24 November with a number of events taking place throughout the day, including the unveiling of new artwork on the hospital’s lifts to highlight the impressive 65 nationalities represented among its workforce.
The Trust’s three staff networks, BAME & Allies, LGBTQ+ & Allies, and Armed Forces, worked together to promote QEH Diversity Day, meeting with colleagues throughout the day to raise awareness.
Caroline Shaw CBE, QEH Chief Executive and Co-Chair of the QEH BAME and Allies Network, said: “We all have a part to play when it comes to creating an inclusive environment and equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of QEH’s values. When staff feel supported, this leads to better patient care, so it is really important that every member of Team QEH feels included and welcome at work. Many of our staff continue to experience discrimination and racial abuse which we do not tolerance or accept. I’m extremely proud of our diverse workforce and this campaign sends a clear message that we stand together as one Team QEH.”
The pledges made by Team QEH staff included:
“My pledge is to become more self-aware, developing my understanding more around other cultures, and to work to make sure that every member of staff, our patients and their families feel safe and supported, and treated with dignity and respect.”
“I pledge to be actively anti-racist, challenge racism and inequalities. I pledge to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, to continue to learn as an ally and make QEH a fantastic place to work for our BAME colleagues and an amazing place to be reached for people of colour in the community.”
To find out more about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at QEH, follow @EDI_QEHKL on Twitter.
For further information please contact Sophie Goodwin, Acting Communications and Engagement Manager, 01553 613216 or CommunicatiosQEH@qehkl.nhs.uk.