NELFT Staff Networks

The equality Act and the NHS Equality Delivery System (EDS2)  which have been in operation since October 2010 and April 2012 rely upon rigorous engagement with staff on key issues, such as discrimination, harassment and having fair and transparent processes by providing supportive and family friendly flexible working arrangements, improving diversity at all levels, tackling harassment and discrimination and developing the skills and talents of all staff to improve service delivery and have better outcomes for staff and patients. One way of engaging with staff, is through Staff networks. Each of the networks has an action plan that they are delivering on to support staff.

The networks are supported by the Trust Equality and Diversity Team.

The Trust currently has four established staff networks in place. These are:

The Ethnic Minority staff network (EMN)

The EMN is a group of staff members working in NELFT, who share common, positive values and have different skills. The aim of the members of the group is to use their collective knowledge, experience and expertise to improve the working environment. This will be achieved through career progression and development of staff from ethnic minority backgrounds. NELFT has 35.8% of staff from ethnic minority group and serves a diverse population. Networks are seen as vehicles for professional development, achieving a culture change and disseminating practical ways of managing diversity to the benefit of staff, patients and the organisation.

The EMN have a strategy in place, and recently reviewed this now called working together a vision for 2020.

The network is chaired by Wellington Makala and supported by key staff representing departments and services in NELFT and championed by John Brouder, the Chief Executive.

For further information and to join the network, email:

Or contact the Trust Equality and Diversity Team: 

Disability staff network (DSN)

The NELFT disability staff network was set up in response to a survey which looked to improve the quality of working lives of staff with disabilities. Currently, 2.2% of the workforce has declared that they have a disability. The network offers support for staff of NELFT who share common, positive values and have different skills. The network will help raise the profile of disability staff and will provide advice and guidance, in a confidential and safe environment. The network meets on a monthly basis and is open to all staff who have an interest in improving working lives of staff. The network is looking at improving and developing the following:

  • Supporting managers in making reasonable adjustments
  • Supporting staff with dyslexia
  • A leadership course for staff with a disability

The network is chaired Patricia Fisher and championed by Bob Champion, the Executive Director of HR and Organisational Development.

For further information, advice and or to join the network; email or contact

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans staff network (LGBT)

The remit of the LGBT staff network is to raise the profile of the LGBT staff, support and provide advice and guidance in a confidential and safe environment. Currently, 1.3% of the workforce in NELFT has declared their sexuality as being gay, lesbian or bisexual. The network will give staff opportunities to seek the collective support from others in the Trust. The Trust has recently signed up to Stonewall, who will be supporting the organisation in meeting its inclusion agenda.

The work of the network will be based on the feedback from the Stonewall Index.

The network is chaired by Jacquie Van Rossum, the Executive Director for London and Transformation who is also the executive champion.

For further information, advice or to join the LGBT network email: or contact

The Dyslexia and other Specific Learning Disabilities forum

Dyslexia is a hidden disability affecting around 10% of the population. It is the most common of the Specific Learning Difficulties, a family of related conditions with considerable overlap or co-occurrence. Together these are believed to affect around 15% of people to a lesser or greater extent.

Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs) affect the way information is learned and processed. They are neurological, usually hereditary and occur independently of intelligence. They include:

The Dyslexia and other Specific Learning Disabilities Forum is a sub-group to the Disability Staff Network. It was established in May 2016 to provide a safe, confidential and supportive space for employees with dyslexia and related SpLDs.

The aim of this support group is to enable affected staff to meet to discuss any difficulties or issues faced in the workplace and to share ideas and coping strategies. As well as allowing individuals the opportunity to share information and discuss challenges, it looks at ways in which they can be supported on a personal and organisational level.

Staff members from Equality and Diversity, Health and Safety, HR and IT attend meetings to offer support.

For further information about the group or if you want to join the network, email or contact