Our staff networks

The Trust has four staff networks that allow staff to get involved in helping the Trust to be more inclusive place to work.  These include networks for a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff, Disabled staff, LGBT+ staff, and staff who are members of the UK’s Reserve Forces or who are Armed Forces Veterans.

Our most active network is the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Staff Network, launched in 2020. The aim of the Network is to support Medway NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) Board in the delivery of duties outlined in the NHS Constitution, with regard to race equality.  Under the Equality Act 2010, all public sector employers must abide by the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED). The PSED has three key aims, which are:  

1.1          Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation

1.2          Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not  

1.3          Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not 

This includes ensuring MFT continues to  include the implementation and delivery of the National Workforce Race Equality Standard. The BAME Staff Network Steering Group will aim to  support and develop BAME staff across all professional groups in the Trust

The BAME Network will support all staff who identify as Black, Asian, minority ethnic or mixed heritage in the following ways:

  • Provide a forum for staff to talk about issues that specifically affect them
  • Raise awareness of equality in the workplace and host events, diversity days and initiatives
  • Raise concerns of racial discrimination with senior leaders in the Trust
  • Support the career development of BAME staff
  • Provide strategic advice to Medway NHS Foundation Trust on the issues affecting BAME staff
  • Provide advice and guidance in the development and review of Trust policies and procedures
  • Provide advice and guidance in personnel issues including recruitment, selection, retention and training
  • Consider reports on BAME issues at the Trust, including reports relating to monitoring data and good practice
  • Engage in and promote coaching and mentoring opportunities for BAME staff
  • Participate in and promote reciprocal mentoring programmes for the organisation , with BAME staff as Mentors
  • Liaise with BAME service users and BAME community groups to raise awareness of their health needs and their perceptions of the NHS
  • Support the establishment of a BAME Allies programme

The LGBT+ Staff Network was re-established in 2020 and has similar aims to those of the other networks, with a focus on the priorities of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and other sexual and gender minority staff in relation to the Public Sector Equality Duty and workplace inclusion.  The network is at the early stage of development, and would love to welcome more members.

The Staff (Dis)Ability Network was also re-launched in 2020 with similar aims to the other networks, focusing on the priorities of staff who identify as disabled or who have a lifelong limiting health condition, or similar need.  Again this network aims to help the trust to deliver on the Public Sector Equality Duty, and the Workforce Disability Standard (WDES).  The network is at the early stage of development, and would love to welcome more members.

The Armed Forces Network was established in 2019 (for staff who are members of the UK Reserve Forces or are veterans of the UK armed forces.  The network exists to recognise the additional challenges faced by armed forces personnel now working in civilian settings and the additional skills and perspectives they bring to the workplace.  The network exists for mutual support, and to advise the Trust on matters relating to the Armed Forces Covenant and Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.

Information on the staff networks is provided as part of the Trust Induction, and further information about the networks, their purpose and objectives, and how to join them are available by contacting the Head of Equality and Inclusion alister.mcclure@nhs.net