Red Card to Racism

North Bristol NHS Trust

Jas Kaur, Head of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

Marcia Dawkins, Unison

Following racist abuse incidences, the Trust developed an engagement exercise to promote awareness and accessibility of the Red Card to Racism policy. This was developed in partnership with Avon Constabulary and trade unions, as well as the Trust’s security team and defines the roles of all staff when an incident occurs.

The aim was to ensure that all staff knew that the Trust had a policy in place and understood the importance of using the reporting mechanism.  The policy had been in place for a while but not used so a comms campaign needed to have robust managerial and union support to revitalise it.

Key points:

  • Black history month helped communicate racist experiences to senior leadership
  • Staff feel their experiences have been heard and clear action now in place to prevent further incidences
  • Reverse mentoring, Cultural Ambassadors, positive action leadership programmes being implemented
  • Easy reporting system will help all staff to report their experiences.

 Judges’ view

The judges felt this project was a strong and compelling example of a good partnership working in action, especially within an organisation where there had been challenges around staff engagement.



One Voice – Caring Together for Staff,

West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust

Carla Beechey, Head of Human Resources

Lucy Mackcracken, Human Resources Manager

The Trust made a commitment at an executive level to fully involve trade union colleagues to explore what further opportunities could be provided to support staff health and wellbeing at work. They provided a wide range of support services to directly help improve staff health and wellbeing in the widest sense.

Key points:

  • Change of culture to use informal conversations with TU representatives to resolve issues quickly
  • Close TU involvement in wellbeing initiatives e.g. equipment for health checks, joint delivery of sickness absence training
  • Two physiotherapist and two mental wellbeing practitioners appointed.

Judges’ view

The judges commended the amount of work invested in the organisation’s health and wellbeing programmes, partnership training and evidence of just culture approaches. There was good evidence of evaluation and metrics.



HR Policy Manual

Yeovil Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Mark Appleby

Director of HR & Organisational Development

Reacting to feedback from staff, the hospital worked in partnership with their trade unions to create a new modern, creative and accessible HR Policy Manual. The manual created a new foundation for a just and learning culture, equipping their managers with a single tool.

Key points:

  • Formed small working group included staff who had English as a second language
  • Changed how policies were traditionally written
  • No unnecessary jargon, short and simple accessible, policies practically useful: reduced disciplinary policy from 30 to 4 pages
  • Produced Manual of exceptional quality and unique to the NHS, improved Staff Survey results, turnover decreased.

Judges’ view

The judges felt that this was a good example of the organisation and its staff partners working well together to develop a single consolidated handbook of the Trust’s HR policies.

The use of plain English was exceptionally good – a reflection of feedback from the organisation’s overseas workforce.


The Social Partnership Forum brings together NHS Employers, NHS trade unions, NHS England and NHS Improvement, Health Education England and the Department of Health and Social Care. Its role is to discuss, debate and involve partners in the development and implementation policy that has implications for the NHS workforce. Effective partnership working brings important benefits for both employers and staff and can have a positive influence on the patient experience. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that the best performing organisations have staff who are engaged with their employer and motivated by the work they do.

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