As Chief Executive of Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust I wanted to add my voice to the campaign against discrimination or abuse which is a priority for us as well as across the NHS as a whole.
It is sad and shocking that we are still hearing distressing stories about colleagues being subjected to discrimination by staff and service users. It remains an issue highlighted by our recent staff survey and a something I wish to eradicate in all forms in this Trust.
The Board has recently established for the first time a People and Culture Committee which will prioritise Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I). In addition, we have set up an ED&I Listening into Action group which is leading on this important work which will help us continue to eradicate all aspects of discrimination and abuse at work.
It is important that you are in no doubt whatsoever of the Board's view on discrimination in all its forms including unacceptable language or behaviour towards others. It quite simply has no place in our culture, within our wards or workplaces as a whole.
Please take this statement as an indication of the zero tolerance stance we have in place and as a clear licence that I want you to speak up and stand with us in rejecting discrimination in all its forms.
I actively encourage and empower you to call out inappropriate or offensive language and behaviours every day. Whether that is from a colleague or a service user or carer doesn't matter. To ignore it is to license it and we simply cannot and will not allow it to continue unchallenged in our organisation.
Please, be confident. We want staff, service users and carers to feel supported and safe, irrespective of skin colour, culture, age, ethnicity or faith, gender, sexuality or if they have a disability. We must change and challenge attitudes – and we want your help to do so.
If you face abuse, do not accept it. If you see someone else being abused, do not ignore it. If you know of a service user, carer or colleague being affected by this, don't stand for it. Zero tolerance means exactly that and we will support you every step of the way.