Region’s mental health trust bags award for promotion of equality and diversity

(L - � R) Ravi Seenan, NSFT'�s Head of Equalities and Engagement, Paul Wallace, Director of Employme

(L - � R) Ravi Seenan, NSFT'�s Head of Equalities and Engagement, Paul Wallace, Director of Employment Relations and Reward at NHS Employers, and Harrison Ighovodah, an NSFT Equality Lead. Photo: Andy Paraskos - Credit: Archant

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has been presented with a special award in recognition of the contribution it has made to a nationwide programme which promotes equality and diversity across the NHS.

The Trust has been given the recognition award for its participation in the NHS Employers Equality and Diversity Partners programme during 2016/17.

The news comes in Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week and gives organisations the chance to highlight the work they are doing to create a fairer, more inclusive NHS for patients and staff.

NSFT's award recognises its continuing efforts to embed equality, diversity and inclusion across everything it does.

It comes after the trust spent two years as a partner in the NHS Employers programme, during which it played a key role to support efforts nationally to improve diversity and equality across the NHS.

This included sharing best practice across the region and contributing to consultations to help shape national policy and legislative changes. The trust also engaged in social media campaigns to promote diversity and took part in national activities, such as developing standards for monitoring sexual orientation among service users, which is due to be introduced later this year.

NSFT is currently waiting to hear whether its application to partner in the programme for a third year has been successful.

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Ravi Seenan, head of equalities and engagement with NSFT, said: 'We were really pleased to receive this award in recognition of the contribution we have made as an equality and diversity partner over the past year. In particular, NHS Employers told us they were impressed by the great passion, energy and drive our equality leads show for promoting equality and diversity, which is really positive and encouraging feedback.

'We strive to create a culture which promotes inclusion, both for our service users and our staff, and work hard to embed equality and diversity in everything we do. Over the past three years, we have made some real progress across our organisation through initiatives such as new mandatory training for staff and by supporting colleagues to further improve the services we provide.

'However, we recognise there is still more we can do to create a supportive and inclusive environment for all staff, service users and carers and I look forward to working with colleagues to further strengthen this important agenda over the coming months.'

To find out more about Equality, Diversity and Human Rights week, visit and click on 'news' or search for #EQW2017 on Twitter.