We’re delighted to announce NELFT has been awarded the status of Disability Confident Leader Level 3.
This is a recognition of the work we’ve been doing to ensure that all sections of NELFT are providing a fully inclusive service for people with a disability. More importantly though, it confirms that our strategies are on the right track.
What does the award mean?
The Disability Confident programme is run by the government to encourage organisations of all kinds to “change behaviour and cultures in their own businesses, networks and communities, and reap the benefits of inclusive recruitment practices.” Three levels are awarded — the level NELFT achieved being the highest.
Harjit K Bansal, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, added:
“One of my main priorities is to develop and shape behaviours that are fair, civil and mutually respectful. Evidence shows that healthy, positive behaviours contribute to building an engaging and supportive culture for colleagues, patients and our carers. This award recognising the hard work we all do to achieve just that.’’
To obtain the award of Disability Confident Leader Level 3, we created a Disability Confident self-assessment and submitted it for external challenge and assessment. It means that NELFT are recognised as one of the leaders in the field of disability. Besides the benefits we can deliver to our own patients and staff, it means that we can set an example to other organisations and offer them help in achieving the same status.
The journey to our new status
NELFT has been recognised since 2016 as a Disability Confident Employer Level 2. Michael Beackon, then manager of the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Team, had one-to-one sessions with staff, including supporting staff, that led to the development of the Disability Strategy.
This has resulted in the creation of the Mental Health Passport, which is just about to be launched. The Passport is designed to help people with mental health issues to take control of their own route to improved health.
The EDI Team has led the progress in developing the Disability Strategy, but it’s been an effort by all sections of the Trust. In particular, it’s a great achievement by our Disability Staff Network, Dyslexia and SPLD, and Mental Health and Hearing Impairment Group. We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the chairs of the staff networks, without whom these results wouldn’t have been possible.