STP Support | Introducing the NSHCS Equality, Diversity & Inclusivity Committee

This post has very kindly been written by Chanelle Peters, Chair of the NSHCS Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee

The School are working closely with the STP BAME network to ensure that all STP trainees’ views are listened to and that issues faced by trainees around Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) are discussed openly; that solutions are not only sought, but become embedded in every aspect of the STP training programme from start (recruitment or even before) to finish (exiting the programme). We commend the initiative from STP trainees to create such a forum, especially as we created our own Equality, Diversity & Inclusion one in parallel. Our aim in creating the school EDI committee was to ensure dedicated time and resources were put into the work of promoting EDI in Healthcare Science.

A brief history of the EDI Committee

The School EDI forum was created in July 2020, around the same time as the STP BAME network was being established. Despite regional Health Education England (HEE) forums being available for us to tap into, we felt we needed one that could impact change closer to home and that would have a positive impact on the community of scientists in the NHS, that we work for and are part of. Like most people around the world, we in the school were deeply affected by what was happening in America in the summer of 2020 and, although we may not have directly experienced these challenges, it was important to recognise we face our own adversities in the UK too. Therefore we wanted to create a space where such matters could be discussed and addressed as a School.

We began doing this by forming an official committee, as mentioned above, at the School, made up of a large proportion of School staff who have voluntarily joined and attend meetings every month.

What are we currently doing to help?

We have added an EDI section to our website dedicated to publishing training resources for our trainees and educators, which will also include data summaries around the recruitment and assessment process. We have an inbox (nshcs.edi@hee.nhs.uk) specifically for EDI matters where we can be contacted, which is also promoted on our website. Internally at the School we have consciously begun discussions and educational talks on a weekly basis about different races, cultures, interests and personal experiences in order to promote inclusivity within the School, with a view to trying to reduce any biases we inadvertently may hold. We examined our internal staffing recruitment procedure and have now introduced EDI specific questions into all internal recruitment interviews. The School’s trainee support team works closely with the EDI committee to ensure that they are able to continually respond quickly to any EDI issues that trainees raise and continue to examine and update guidance around policies and procedures and how these can be improved.

We received fantastic support from the senior team at the National School, in particular Prof Berne Ferry, to set up this committee. 

We acknowledge that this is a huge responsibility which will take substantial time, but with collaborative working we strongly believe we can make significant and sustainable changes to improve experiences.

We look forward to collaborating with the STP BAME network and other EDI trainee groups going forward.

If you have any queries about the National School’s EDI Forum, the EDI team can be contacted directly at: nshcs.edi@hee.nhs.uk

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