Sessions at hospital trust revive commitment to diversity

Guy’s
and St Thomas’ Hospital Trust has run a series of diversity action-planning
sessions for its management executives and senior managers, aimed at
reinvigorating the trust’s commitment to diversity.

"In
the past, diversity had been HR-led and we wanted to mainstream it throughout
the organisation," said Carolyn Norgate, the Trust’s head of training and
development.

"We
knew it would take more than chance or goodwill to put these aims into
practice, so we decided to develop annual action plans for each directorate to
cascade the strategy throughout the organisation."

The
sessions were designed and facilitated by Roffey Park, the executive education
and research organisation. It undertook a series of individual and group
interviews with selected members of staff, to uncover people’s experiences of
working within the trust.

From
these interviews, consultants developed a series of scripted scenarios and
worked with a company of actors to create five characters, who could provide a
‘talking heads’ perspective of diversity, either as a patient or a member of
staff.

"The
sessions went very well and it demonstrated that the most senior group in the
organisation were taking this issue seriously," said Norgate. "By the
end, the group had successfully defined and developed the diversity priorities
for the year."

Roffey
Park then delivered 12 half-day sessions for senior managers, clinicians and
professional staff in the trust’s directorates.

Called
Diversity Planning Sessions, these followed a similar format and were delivered
in-house, for groups of up to 20 at a time. 

Guy’s
and St Thomas’ is now working on a ‘Future Service Strategy’ to further develop
its services over the next five to 10 years.

By Mike Berry

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