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November 17, 2011

Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (MCHFT) has recently outlined its achievements and plans to improve the fairness and equality in the treatment of all its patients and staff.

The Trust’s Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Human Rights Annual Report has now been published for 2010/11, and focuses on key equality developments and future steps to reduce and eliminate health and employment inequalities at Leighton Hospital in Crewe, the Victoria Infirmary in Northwich and Elmhurst Intermediate Care Centre in Winsford.

2010/11 was a year of continued development in the Trust’s work on equality, diversity and human rights, examples of which are given below:
• MCHFT’s Board of Directors formally committed to the ‘Living Well in Cheshire East’ initiative, designed to address health inequalities in the area;
• A Single Equality Scheme has been developed, which sets out the Trust’s equality goals for patients, staff and others;
• Awareness events have been held for staff on topics such as trans patients and how to communicate effectively with people with learning disabilities;
• A volunteer chaperone scheme has been developed to assist people who attend outpatient appointments;
• A complete survey has been carried out across the Trust’s sites to identify disability access issues.

The Report also identifies a number of good practice examples, with case studies including:
• improvements in the way that teenage parents were supported, which has contributed significantly to a marked reduction in teenage pregnancy;
• improved patient communication through the introduction of telephone interpreters and information being provided in alternative formats such as audio, easy-read and in other languages;
• working to make adjustments for patients with learning disabilities, to improve the hospital experience of both patients and their carers;
• the introduction of complementary therapies for patients, provided by qualified volunteers, to further improve the hospital experience for inpatients.

Recently, Jon Workman, Head of Equality, Diversity and Human Rights for the Trust, was awarded an Institute for Leadership and Management Certificate in Equality and Diversity – one of the first five people in the North West to be given the qualification. The Trust was also named winner of the ‘Enhancing Patient Dignity’ category at the 2011 Nursing Times Award following its work on improving the experience of patients with learning disabilities.

Speaking about the Report, Jon said: “I am pleased to say that the Trust is continuing to make good progress in its work to provide services that meet the differing health and individual needs of all the people we serve.

“The Trust’s Board of Directors are committed to promoting equality and diversity in all aspects of patient and staff experience. That leadership has already had an important impact on the delivery of our services. The Trust is now stepping up its work with others to address the inequalities in health that affect people in the local area.”

If you would like a copy of the Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Human Rights Annual Report for 2010/11, please email Jon.Workman@mcht.nhs.uk.