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Seven health and social care employers make equality list

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St Andrew’s Healthcare, a charity providing specialist mental health services, has been named as the highest placed performer from its sector in a well-respected index of equality and employers.

In all, there were seven health and social care organisations in Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers list for 2017.

“We take very seriously our role as a responsible, inclusive employer”

Martin Kersey

The annual list, created by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality charity, is compiled from submissions to its benchmarking tool the Workplace Equality Index.

This year saw 439 organisations take part in the Index, the highest number in its 12-year history, noted Stonewall.

Each participant must demonstrate their expertise in 10 distinct areas of employment policy and practice, including networking groups, career development, training, and community engagement.

St Andrew’s Healthcare, which has its headquarters in Northampton, employs around 4,000 people. It was the only employer from the health and care sector to make it into the top 50 of the list, at number 43.

The charitable organisation, which provides psychiatric services for the NHS, has climbed 15 places from 58 position in 2016 and has now appeared in the list for three consecutive years.

St Andrew’s director of human resources, Martin Kersey, said: “We take very seriously our role as a responsible, inclusive employer and we value the diversity of our colleagues across St Andrew’s

“It’s a great honour to be listed on the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index once again,” he said. “The index gains in popularity every year, making it more competitive – so improving our position against that backdrop is certainly something to be celebrated.

“It’s fantastic that so many employers are now embracing their responsibilities to improve equality across a wide range of industries, and we’re proud to be among them,” he added.

The other representatives from the health and social care sector included two Welsh health boards, a Scottish hospital, a mental health trust and an ambulance trust in the North East of England and a probation service in the South East.

  • 43 St Andrew’s Healthcare
  • 57 Essex Community Rehabilitation Company
  • 60 North East Ambulance Service NHS Trust
  • 63 Golden Jubilee Foundation
  • 82 Cardiff & Vale University Health Board
  • 95 Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
  • 95 Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

The Golden Jubilee Foundation, based in Glasgow, was ranked at number 63. It takes referrals from across Scotland and works as a national centre to bring down waiting times.

Its chief Executive Jill Young said she was “delighted” to be recognised as one of the top employers in the UK who were “dedicated to celebrating equality and diversity within our workforce”.

She said: “In 2016, we worked extensively with other NHS health boards and a range of other public bodies across the country, as well as the Scottish government, to support and advise them on how to improve their awareness, understanding and implementation of a values-based workforce approach.

“Going forward we look forward to continuing to help improve the working lives of LGBT staff and experience of LGBT service users not only at the Golden Jubilee, but throughout the UK,” she said.

Northumbria Healthcare, which has also appeared in the list for the past three years, said that during 2016 it had promoted equality and diversity in a range of ways.

Golden Jubilee Foundation

Golden Jubilee rated top health employer in equality index

Golden Jubilee Hospital

These included building a community role models network for people who identify as LGBT or black and minority ethnic to help improve access to healthcare and promote positive roles, taking part in Northern Pride Week, and raising awareness of the equality and diversity support available for staff.

Patrick Price, general manager at Northumbria Healthcare who is the trust’s equality and diversity and LGBT lead and champion, said: “I am delighted to see the trust named in the top 100 employers for the fourth consecutive year. This is tribute to our on-going commitment to promoting equality and celebrating difference.”

Stonewall chief executive Ruth Hunt said: “Congratulations to the 2017 Stonewall Top 100 employers for your outstanding achievements, and thank you to all who took part.

“You are at the forefront of driving LGBT inclusion in the workplace and we are incredibly proud to work with you,” she said. “With your continued partnership, we can ensure that all lesbian, gay, bi and trans employees across Britain are accepted without exception.”

As well as the top 100, Stonewall also named eight organisations that had consistently appeared in the index over the years and, as a result, had demonstrated their commitment to LGBT inclusion.

Among the eight employers given “star performer” status by the charity and viewed as having “graduated” from the index was Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

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