Can Do Health & Care - NHS Uncomfortable Truths Report

16 | ICS System Learning: Uncomfortable Truths Amina: How many of the people here today, when they walked in, looked for somebody who looked like us? And not just in this room, but in every room we walk into? Imagine somebody who has just come into your organisation and who is expected to leave their true selves outside to be like everybody else. As Black people we have to work twice as hard, and colourism is a further factor, as the lighter your skin the more life chances you will have. Our colleagues, line managers and leaders do not understand our cultures and the ways we express ourselves. We are judged on the way we speak, how we express ourselves using our hands, and when we speak up people see that as a problem. “We look more at how somebody is going to perform, how they look or how they come into the organisation, not so much in terms of understanding them and where they are coming from.” Melanie: To illustrate some of the challenges for the international workforce, I saw at a foodbank in Suffolk that also supplies furniture that most of that furniture is taken by overseas nurses working in the local trust. I was shocked that when the NHS should be supporting its international workforce, that workforce is instead relying on donations. It is not only about finding people who look like me but also people who are feeling like me, who are my feelings important to? During the disciplinaries and fitness to practice, disputes and behaviours, what is also going on for that person? Are we spending enough time thinking about how people are feeling? The world is not a fair and inclusive place to work and the issues we are talking about today are reflected in all parts of society. Look outside the bubble of health and care, and spend time looking at different sectors such as education and business too. Uncomfortable Truth 6: The 9,000 VCFSE sector organisations in Suffolk and North East Essex employ around 16,000 staff. The effects of the pandemic and the cost of living crisis have left smaller charities particularly vulnerable. NCVO, The Charity Commission Melanie: I am a relative novice in this world, but the voluntary sector are small organisations that have developed in response to a crisis, a passion, and issue or a need, and they are very different from each other. In the last few years there has been a perfect storm. “There is significantly increased demand for certain needs due to societal changes… There has been a massive shrinkage in public sector funding both to those services and in the public sector offer so that many of those services are trying to respond to the shrinkage in what has previously been available.”

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