Festival Coordinator Jeff Evans was recently invited to speak at one of the first NHS Ambulance Service LGBT Network events. The LGBT Network will help promote diversity within the NHS, as well as educating its staff on how to best serve the diverse communities with whom they interact on a daily basis. Below is an overview of the North West Ambulance Service, how people can join, and what policies are in place to foster an open, diverse team.
The North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust has over 6000 staff and covers a large area from Crewe in the south, right up to the Scottish border. It responds to 999 calls in the big cities of Liverpool and Manchester, as well as in very rural areas in the Lake District and everywhere in between.
As an employer, we have registered paramedics working for us, many of whom have studied at universities in the North West; we have recruited several paramedics from Poland in recent years, too. We also have a range of other patient-facing roles such as the EMT1 apprenticeship role (responding to 999 calls), Ambulance Care Assistants (ensuring those needing special care when getting to and from hospital are supported) and call takers for both 999 and 111 calls.
We have several support services too including IT, Human Resources, Finance, Communications and Legal services. We also employ mechanics.
The focus of all our work is to get the patient the right care, at the right time, in the right place. What that looks like is different to every patient. Our core values of dignity, respect, care and compassion should be clearly displayed for every patient, every time. Part of that includes taking time to understand what a patient needs: age, religion, other illnesses and many other factors can affect what care is best for that patient.
NWAS tries to recruit staff from a range of different backgrounds, ethnicities, ages, sexual orientations and genders. As an organisation, we want our staff to be representative of the population that we serve in the North West and be an employer of choice. We believe our patient care will be better if we have a diverse mix of staff, as our staff respond to calls in every part of our community. Therefore, we go out into local communities to promote our roles. If people we meet don’t want to work in healthcare, that’s fine! But at least they will know a little more about what the ambulance service does and which roles we have.
For people who do join us, they will have the opportunity to have their say about what it feels like to be a member of staff and tell us what else we can do to improve things. There is a staff survey which staff can complete once a year; the results are broken down so managers know what is affecting staff in their area. here are local staff forums and other opportunities to speak to managers about issues. There is also a LGBT staff network, where LGBT staff (and allies) can speak to each other. The network holds formal and informal meetings. The Chair has regular meetings with the HR Advisor for Equality, and can thus draw their attention to anything affecting this particular staff group, too. We also collaborate with the national LGBT network https://www.ambulancelgbt.org/.
If you want to know more about working for the ambulance service, please look at our website on http://www.nwas.nhs.uk/ and apply for roles here via TRAC http://jobs.nwas.nhs.uk/. You can also follow our recruitment in your community on twitter @NWAMB_inclusion.
Recruitment Positive Action Officer
North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust