Agenda item

How do we make BAME lives matter at Torbay's public organisations?

To question Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust representatives on the key question.


The chair explained that the review was being renamed as the Torbay Racism Review after listening to feedback from the local community.


The key responses from the Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust service representatives are detailed below:


·         That the Trust is working closely with South Devon College to build career pathways for those that cannot learn in traditional ways to access healthcare roles and that being an ICO offers wider opportunity to staff but that more could be done to listen to the views of the BAME community and BAME staff to see if this approach is working. The trust were keen to stress that career opportunities were not just clinical but also for support staff

·         That the Trust has approximately 6,000 employees and that of this 6% are from a BAME background, however the Trust recognises it still needs to do more to be an organisation that is reflective of its local community

·         The Trust recognises that it has a strong track record of recruiting BAME staff from outside of Torbay but needs to get better at recruiting BAME staff from within Torbay

·         The Trust is keen to work more closely with local schools on recruiting staff for their organisation

·         The Trust recognises that it needs to continually improve its engagement with the BAME community and that the best way to do this was through gaining the trust of community leaders who already have the trust and relationship with their community. The Trust is especially keen to work with the council on addressing this

·         The Trust recognises the need to educate staff on BAME issues and cultural diversity as the staff community are embedded in the local community and our the organisations’ best ambassadors

·         The Trust would like to explore using BAME role models in their organisation to promote the recruitment of BAME staff but they also see the importance of Torbay being a vibrant community in attracting BAME staff to move here from other areas

·         The Trust have invested time and resources in ensuring BAME staff especially from overseas have strong pastoral support and this has helped to retain and recruit BAME staff

·         The Trust has strong communication routes and resources to communicate with BAME patients and adheres to national NHS standards but is not complacent on this and is always looking to improve its communication with BAME patients but sees the best way of doing this as working with the local BAME community on what works best for them

·         One challenge that the Trust is facing is assessing the qualifications from overseas workers to ensure they have the appropriate skills and knowledge to work in the NHS

·         The Trust also faces a challenge in meeting the cultural requirements of BAME patients whilst juggling its finite resources and this was especially relevant to the provision of mixed sex wards

·         Whilst the Trust adheres to all the relevant equality and diversity legislation and standards it does recognise that its Board of Executives and non-executives is not representative of the community it serves and is seeking to redress this via reverse mentoring by senior staff being mentored by other Trust staff

·         One of the ways the Trust is seeking to improve its understanding of BAME issues is by supporting the Devon BAME Network

·         The Trust was clear that its approach to recruitment is based on merit and not a quota approach

·         The Trust has recognised the higher mortality rate of the BAME community and has a rigorous risk assessment process in place to protect staff including those from a BAME background

·         The Trust uses a variety of methods to engage with its staff to ensure they are culturally equipped to work with the BAME community, this includes the Devon Network, review of data, staff survey, Freedom to Speak up Guardians and exit interviews but it does recognise that it could undertake more cultural diversity training with its workforce and is developing cultural competency frameworks to address this. However, these frameworks need to be co-designed with BAME staff and BAME patients

·         The Trust does recognise however that BAME staff and patients are more reticent to complain or raise issues or concerns so they need to do more to build trust so that people feel comfortable in coming forward

·         The Trust stated that abuse of BAME workers was still higher than for non-BAME workers but that this was slowly reducing, however the Trust has a zero tolerance policy in relation to abuse and rigorously enforces it

·         The Trust is working closely with the Council on recruitment and retention of staff but that if more was done around key worker housing, creation of a vibrant community and social connections the recruitment and retention of staff especially from a BAME background would be improved