At MTW our aim is to actively promote equality, diversity and inclusion in everything that we do! These terms have many different definitions but this is how we as an NHS trust see them and try to input them into our culture at MTW:
Equality: It is a common misconception that equality is about treating everyone the same; equality isn’t about treating everyone the same but is about acknowledging that in order for our staff to perform at their best and for our patients to achieve the same outcomes people may need to be treated differently. This is something that at MTW we feel very strongly about and we strive to equip all our staff and patients with the necessary support they need both when working for us and accessing our services. We are continuously looking into how to do this better by educating our staff, carrying out patient feedback surveys and collaborating with other trusts to work together to achieve this.
Diversity: Diversity means difference; it is the differences between each of us which make us unique and mean that we all have our own experiences, perspective, knowledge and skillset which we can share with each other and all learn from. Hence, the more diverse our workforce, the wider the scope of experiences, perspective, knowledge and skillsets meaning we as a healthcare provider can provide better care for our patients. At MTW, we are extremely dedicated to supporting our staff and patients in any way we can irrespective of age, disability, race, sexual orientation, religion or beliefs, gender, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity status.
Inclusion: Inclusion brings together Equality and Diversity. Through inclusion we use the ideals of equality and diversity in order to make sure that everyone feels included and does not experienced bullying, harassment or discrimination within our trust. We are working hard to create an inclusive culture at MTW; a culture which promotes equality and embraces diversity in all it’s functions as both an employer and a service provider. You can find out more in our Annual Equality Report.
In order to adhere to the values of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and to try to achieve all of this we operate in accordance with the following values:
- Treat everyone with respect and dignity at all times
- Challenge discriminatory behaviour and practice
- Recognise and embrace diversity
- Ensure equal and easy access to services
- Ensure equal access to employment and development opportunities
- Consult and engage with staff, patients and their families to ensure that the services and the facilities of the Trust meet their needs
Our staff and patients have a right to be treated with dignity and respect when working and accessing our services irrespective of age, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability, gender or gender identity, marital status and pregnancy. We value diversity amongst our services and take a strict zero tolerance policy towards discrimination, harassment and any other form of exclusion within MTW services including, but not limited to, racism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and ableism.
Support for our Staff from Minority Groups:
Minority groups are under-represented and often misunderstood in all walks of life, but with healthcare catering to everyone we really want the diversity of the population in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells to be represented in our workforce. We believe that in order to provide a great service to our patients, we must first fully support our staff in being able to bring their full selves to work and strive to educate our workforce on the specific needs and issues of minority groups.
We are working hard to provide support to minority groups within MTW. We wanted to highlight some of this work here:
- The Trust is committed to taking positive action for disabled people and is recognised as a Disability Confident Leader.
- The Disability Confident Scheme is a Government run scheme which holds employers to a standard and helps to:
-Challenge attitudes towards disability
-Increase understanding of disability
-Ensure that disabled people have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations
- We have the following Staff Networks which work to provide support to their members and provoke action within the trust to benefit both minority staff and patients:
-Cultural and Ethnic Minorities Network
More information on these can be found in the tabs to the right. Additionally, we will always welcome and support any staff member to start their own staff network.
- We believe one of the key ways to tackle health inequalities experienced by minority groups within the NHS is by proper training and education. It is everyone’s responsibility to create an inclusive environment within the NHS and we want to equip our staff with the knowledge and skills to be able to do this. We have offered our staff training in the past on things such as trans awareness and becoming anti-racist and are working hard to bring more training, more regularly to the trust.
Recruitment and applying to work at MTW:
MTW is committed to equality and valuing diversity within its workforce and we know that people perform better when they can be themselves. We encourage job applications from BAME, Disabled and LGBT+ people – we embrace difference and are focussed on developing diverse talent within the Trust.
In this video, hear from colleagues from our staff network groups who have shared their thoughts on what it’s like to work for MTW and the support offered to minority groups: