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East Cheshire NHS Trust in collaboration with Mid Cheshire Hospitals Foundation Trust and the Countess of Chester Foundation Trust shortlisted for the 2023 Health Service Journal Awards

18 August 2023

East Cheshire NHS Trust is delighted to announce that our ‘Diverse Voices in Leadership’ submission has been shortlisted for the NHS Race Equality Award at the HSJ Awards, recognising an outstanding contribution to healthcare and securing a place at the prestigious awards ceremony later this year.

A ‘record-breaking’ 1456 entries have been received for this year’s Awards, with 223 projects and individuals reaching the final shortlist, making it the biggest awards programme in the Award’s 43-year history. The high volume and exceptional quality of applications, once again mirrors the impressive levels of innovation and care continually being developed within the UK’s healthcare networks.

Following the thorough judging process, East Cheshire NHS Trust in collaboration with Mid Cheshire Hospitals Foundation Trust and the Countess of Chester Foundation Trust was shortlisted, ahead of the official awards ceremony to be held later this year (November 16th), with its ‘Diverse Voices in Leadership’ programme standing out as a real ‘success story’ worthy of a prized place on the panel’s shortlist.

Ian Howarth, Workforce Equality Diversity & Inclusion Lead at East Cheshire NHS Trust said, Through dialogue with the staff Cultural Diversity Network, and feedback from the staff survey, a commitment was made to help colleagues from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds to better understand and receive support around the career progression routes available to them within the NHS,  and to overcome known barriers linked to a lack of skills development, discrimination and the absence of visible role models.

“As a result the Elevate Leadership Development Programme was conceived in collaboration with neighbouring NHS Trusts to support colleagues of Black Asian and Minority Ethnic heritage in exploring their leadership aspirations and what it takes to lead within the NHS. 

“Dialogue with colleagues and staff networks ensured the design and delivery of the programme was undertaken authentically, with the views of the community it sought to serve foremost when decisions relating to the course content and how it is delivered were being made.

“The programme has already gone on to have a great deal of success with delegates choosing to pursue and secure promotions, four of whom now are in managerial positions, leading teams and taking operational decisions daily.”

Rachael Charlton, Executive Director of People and Culture and Deputy CEO at East Cheshire NHS Trust said: “Through supporting the personal development of our colleagues of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic heritage, we hope to overcome the known challenges they face when pursuing leadership positions, and in doing so, nurture a rich and diverse workforce culture which will enable us to make better patient-centred decisions around care and operating practices.

“It is our ambition that delegates will leave the course with an appreciation for their own leadership qualities and how these align with leading in the NHS.”

HSJ editor Alastair McLellan, adds; “It always gives me great pleasure to congratulate our finalists at this stage of the judging process and this year is no exception as we acknowledge East Cheshire NHS Trust in collaboration with Mid Cheshire Hospitals Foundation Trust and the Countess of Chester Foundation Trust for being shortlisted in the category of NHS Race Equality Award at the HSJ Awards.

“We can’t wait to welcome our finalists to the awards ceremony in November and to recognise and applaud such impressive achievements across the sector – as well as coming together to help mark the 75th birthday of our great NHS.

The selected winners will be announced during the awards ceremony at Evolution London on November 16th 2023. The event will not only reflect the HSJ Awards’ enduring ethos of “sharing best practice, improving patient outcomes and innovating drivers of better service” but will also serve as a timely and well-deserved thank you to the sector during the 75th anniversary year of the NHS.