Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Supporting The AHSN Network’s diversity and inclusion pledges

Health Innovation Manchester believes that successful implementation of equality, diversity, and inclusion in all aspects of work ensures that colleagues are valued, motivated and treated fairly. In times of uncertainty, we look to leaders and staff that can operate effectively in ways that truly reflect the aspirations and values of our health and care system.

Inclusion is core to the NHS Constitution and the NHS Long Term Plan, yet is still one of the biggest challenges that health systems face globally, nationally and locally. The development of compassionate and inclusive cultures is key if we truly value the diverse health and care workforce to enable people to deliver the best quality services to our increasingly diverse communities.

In this digital age many movements which focus on inclusion have happened out of nowhere. They are not started by the usual suspects and do not happen from a top-down direction. The hashtags #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter and #TimesUp, all started by women, are signalling a change in the global conversation on inclusion, and more importantly, are asserting the voices of those who have been unheard, ignored, kept beyond the margins and excluded. These less-familiar voices are initiating, participating in and perpetuating new conversations and creating spaces to explore issues of lived experience, identify, power and privilege in different ways.

The AHSN Network has reached out to all 15 AHSNs to ask that they support three core pledges on diversity and innovation, as they recognise that the Network has a leadership role to play in championing and developing diversity within our NHS innovation pipeline.

The pledges are:

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Empowering staff to be positive role models

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Understanding the impact of our work

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Self-assess and improve equality performance

The Network launched the pledges at NHS Expo 2019 in Manchester along with its first report, ‘Diversity and Innovation – a celebration of BAME innovators and our pledges to do more’. The pledges will be used to demonstrate the Network’s commitment to the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion agenda. The 15 AHSNs will use the pledges to hold themselves to account for the way that they identify and nurture innovation and the innovators behind them, both inside and outside of the NHS and will commit to publishing progress against the pledges annually.

In light of the pledges, we are asking our staff to do more to support activity in this area and co-design an action plan than spans across the work the AHSN Network supports.

Cath Barrow, Senior Programme Development Lead, Portfolio Management Office and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead at Health Innovation Manchester, said:

“Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is everyone’s business. If we treat everyone fairly and give them the same opportunities then we are rewarded with motivation and creative thinking to drive innovation.”

As part of this ongoing work Cath has written a blog, sharing her thoughts on Inter Faith Week 2021, and the celebration of different faith communities in the UK, to increase the awareness and an understanding of different beliefs between religious and non-religious communities across the country.

You can read this blog by clicking here.

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