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Understanding the impact of Covid-19 on our diverse population

The safety of and support for our staff, service users, carers and their families has been paramount during this time. As an organisation that exists to help people fulfil their potential and live well in their communities, we are aware that Covid-19 has had a different impact on some of our population. We know the greatest impact is on our black and minority ethnic population and people with a long term condition or disability.

“The Trust has worked through emergency arrangements during the Covid-19 pandemic. We have had to work quickly to respond to a national incident. This has often meant working quickly to keep services running. We now need to respond with the same urgency to the impacts of the pandemic for those people who are experiencing the biggest impact.”

Rob Webster, chief executive

We want you to know that our Trust is taking these impacts seriously. This is what we are doing:

Understanding the impacts: We have highlighted the impacts in a Covid-19 assessment of equality. As research and evidence emerges this document will inform our approach and grow.

Creating solutions: We are working hard to find solutions to the impacts with people who reflect the population we serve. We have a number of staff networks for BAME, LGBT and disability. All our networks sit on the main decision making groups.

Taking action: We are taking every step to ensure that all our staff understand the impacts, and feel supported to take action.

Monitoring how well we are doing: If you work in, use or visit our service you can expect to see a difference. To monitor and oversee this work the Trust now has two Task Force groups with one dedicated to BAME staff. You can view the terms of reference for the Trustwide Task Force group and the BAME Task Force group.

The evidence of the impact of the virus on BAME staff and populations is significant and shocking. We have been working to ensure that this is addressed in advance of Covid-19 and subsequently. We know that Black Lives Matter (BLM) and as a Trust we will do all we can to support this movement. The steps we have taken so far are:

• A letter to all BAME staff
• Set up a dedicated BAME workforce task force
• Co-designed a dedicated wellbeing hub for BAME staff
• Completed dedicated risk assessments for all BAME staff

We continue to work hard to ensure all information and communications are easy to access and read. Communication during this time of constant change is essential. Public posters, leaflets and information have all been co-designed with service users in an easy read format. And we have promoted our translation service and provided translated information to staff, service users, carers and families – the people most impacted by the virus.

We know we have much more to do. The work we are doing as a Trust is supported by our integrated care systems – these are all our health and care partners in our local areas. We are working together closely on carers’ support, mental health, learning disability and issues felt by BAME staff and communities.

We are committed to working together to address any challenges. Feel free to email us if you want to work with us on this at involvingpeople@swyt.nhs.uk

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