New staff networks guidance is positive step for employers, unions and NHS staff networks says RCM 

on 01 December 2020 Midwifery NHS Midwives MSWs - Maternity Support Workers

New guidance to help trade unions and employers work better with NHS staff networks has been published and is a positive step forwards says the Royal College of Midwives (RCM). The guidance has been produced by the NHS Staff Council’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion Group (EDIG) which is chaired by the RCM.  

“The role of staff networks is rightly developing and growing, and this is a positive step. It will support a better NHS workplace for many groups and people who may feel that the specific challenges they face are not being addressed where they work, said RCM Employment Relations Advisor Alice Sorby who co-chairs EDIG. 

This guidance is really about changing cultures and how we as active trade unionists can support our Black and brown, LGBTQ+ and other members. It provides a firm base from which employers and networks can come together and work together to find solutions to local workplace issues.” 

NHS staff networks are employee led and are set up to create a fairer and more diverse NHS workplace by tackling the issues faced by underrepresented and disadvantaged NHS staff groups and individuals. NHS trusts in England will have specific staff networks to address the problems facing these groups including Black and minority ethnic, disability and wellbeing, and carers networks. Others may cover LGBT+, support staff from overseas or carers.  

NHS England and NHS Improvement has encouraged all NHS bodies in England to establish staff equality networks. The RCM will be raising awareness of the guidance with its workplace representatives. They will then in turn be able to support and engage with their local staff networks and help staff to develop new one when there are gap. 

“This is ultimately not just about the wellbeing of staff but also of the people using our NHS. When staff feel supported and valued in their work, they are in a better place mentally and emotionally to do their job and deliver even better care,” added Alice Sorby.” 

For more information on the guidance visit Improving staff equality networks through partnership working | NHS Employers 

For more information on staff networks see NHS England » Staff networks.