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Equality & Diversity Staff Network approaching anniversary

Staff networks have become an important part of the inclusion journey at The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (ROH). The Equality & Diversity Network was the first of these groups to be formed in 2018 with the aim of raising awareness and promoting inclusion across the Trust. As the network approaches its three-year anniversary in September, its Chair, Claudette Jones, speaks about the group’s activity and plans for the milestone.

What is your primary role at ROH?
I am a Senior Research Nurse in the Research, Development and Teaching Department – which I love. I love being part of a team that provides the best possible care for our patients, and facilitates a supportive environment for colleagues.

When did you get involved with the E&D Network?
I got involved with the E&D Network at the very first initial meeting in the early stages of setting it up in August 2018.

What was the first meeting like?
It was only a few of us at that first meeting – six or so people wanting to know what it was all about. The first discussion was focussed around how we would want to see such a group progress. The idea grew from strength to strength and three years on the E&D Network is thriving with regular meetings and a core group of members.

What is it like for you being Chair of the E&D Network?
I totally love it! I’m very passionate about raising awareness at the hospital around issues relating to equality and diversity. The network has given me the opportunity and platform to have that voice and hopefully encourage positive change.

Claudette resized
(Above) Claudette Jones

Why do you think we need the E&D network?
The staff at ROH are what make the hospital so special – we work to provide the best possible care to our patients. It’s important we all have a voice and feel comfortable to be our authentic selves. I’m a strong believer that if you want to see change, you have to be that change. Through the Trust’s inclusion agenda, staff have the resources we need to be the change – it’s up to us to raise our voice. The E&D Network and other networks are one way we can do this.

What would you say is your proudest E&D Network moment?
Black History Month 2019 was one of the network’s proudest moments. We held an awareness day with information stands and food. So many people came out and wanted to support the network. It was at that event that I really felt as if the network was really embedded in the Trust. It was a really positive environment and a wonderful vibe. I’ll never forget it.

Are you involved in any other networks?
The Trust has a growing number of networks run by colleagues to promote the voice of our diverse staff groups. Since the E&D Network launched, other networks have formed which is great news in terms of amplifying the diversity of staff voices. I support all the other networks and try to attend meetings and get involved, particularly with the Multi Minority Ethnic Group (MMEG) and Disability Network. I love seeing the networks and what they are doing for staff in the Trust. It’s my passion to support them and help in any way I can.

How are you celebrating the three-year anniversary of the E&D Network?
We are hoping to celebrate and showcase the work that all the networks are doing at an event in September. The E&D Network was just the start so it’s important for me that we give all networks an opportunity to celebrate the day with us. More details to follow but it will be a chance to celebrate and reflect on how far the network has come.

Staff can find out more about the E&D Network on the staff intranet.