The Royal Marsden Hospital

We supported a Trust-wide programme to raise awareness of diversity best practice for staff and managers

The Royal Marsden came to us at a time when they were one of the top-performing NHS Trusts in the country in terms of patient experience and hospital environment. The Trust, however, had identified that certain staff groups were reporting worse experiences at work than others.

Staff with disabilities, in particular, suffered higher levels of work-related stress and experienced more pressure to attend work when feeling unwell. Similarly, BME staff reported experiencing more discrimination at work. They also had less support for the idea that the Trust provided equal opportunities for career progression or promotion. The Trust needed more in-depth workforce diversity analysis to determine their next steps.

Challenges

Our workforce diversity review gave the Trust new insight into staff experiences, and recommended areas for improvement.

The focus of the review was to build on current information available to the Trust, and to increase awareness and understanding among senior management. Using focus groups, we gathered perspectives on individual and group experiences of staff across the Trust. We gathered participants from a range of key groups, including team managers, BME staff, staff with disabilities, and other important stakeholders.

Based on our experience with these groups, we provided a set of detailed recommendations to assist the Trust in its continuing efforts to build an inclusive and successful organisation. Our report also outlined examples of best practice at the Trust in relation to the specific themes identified in the review. This enabled them to identify a positive base from which to build their diversity development programmes.

Our recommendations included:

  • Delivery of tailored training programmes to up-skill staff in conflict resolution and cross-cultural working
  • Next steps to build skills and confidence of managers in staff recruitment, selection and progression
  • A range of bespoke talent management and positive action measures
  • Further development of staff networks or forums to support workforce equality and diversity efforts
  • A review of existing diversity training programmes for managers and suggestions of new approaches to re-engage managers and staff, and to increase interest and raise awareness of available support and resources
  • Ways of creating constructive dialogues about diversity in the workplace to emphasis senior leadership buy-in and engage staff at all levels with the business case.
"The EW Group workforce review identified and confirmed the diversity challenges we needed to address at the Royal Marsden. Their findings and recommendations gave us a valuable evidence base; the final report provided added impetus to deliver a range of management development programmes, including recruitment and selection master classes."
Lisa Neden, Equality and Diversity Lead Specialist at the Royal Marsden Hospital
Royal Marsden Hospital NHS workforce diversity audit review case study