Embracing diversity

Thursday 16th May 2013 – 12.45pm – Murray MacGregor.

As one of the country’s most ethnically diverse regions, it is only right that West Midlands Ambulance Service embraces that diversity and celebrates the rich cultures that abound.

As part of that, the Trust is participating in the NHS Equality, Diversity & Human Rights week, (Monday 13th – Friday 17th May) which is coordinated by NHS Employers.

After consulting with local communities and staff, the Trust wanted to ensure that staff are equipped with the knowledge and know how about local cultures and religions within the West Midlands.

A series of snap shot articles on Buddhism, Human Rights, Hinduism, Christianity, African Caribbean communities have been distributed and displayed at every Ambulance Station to build awareness about local diverse communities. The articles are based on key facts, such as some of the religions and cultures, dietary requirements, cultural differences in dress, how to communicate with respect and dignity and key information on dealing with incidents of death.

A series of other articles have also been written to raise awareness about patients with autism and learning disabilities, as well as bespoke training delivered to staff on deaf awareness. The final article on Homophobia, which will be distributed on Friday 17th ties in with International Day Against Homophobia.

Trust Chairman, Sir Graham Meldrum, and Chief Executive Anthony Marsh recently signed up as a champion of the NHS employers ‘Personal Fair and Diverse campaign’. The aim of the campaign is to take action and drive forward the commitment to, building a personal, fair and diverse NHS.

Sir Graham said: “We know that the needs of the different communities in the West Midlands differ considerably so it is vital that we ensure that we are able to meet those needs.

“It is vital that we provide our staff with information about our local community needs and how as individuals we can play a part in delivering a service which values dignity, respect and fairness for all.

“As part of our commitment to learning, the Trust will also receive a presentation from a local charity organisation based in Wolverhampton called ‘Gender Matters’, who will be sharing their knowledge of experiences faced by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities using NHS services.

“It is only by talking and, more importantly, listening to these communities that we will be able to learn more about how often very simple changes can make a massive difference to the patients we treat.”



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