LAS and SECAmb retain strong positions in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index

The London Ambulance Service NHS Trust (LAS) and South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) have both retained a place in Stonewall’s top 100 employers list 2014, which was published on 15 January.

The annual guide, now in its tenth year, features Britain’s top employers for lesbian, gay and bisexual staff. Stonewall receives hundreds of submissions annually to the Workplace Equality Index, their audit of workplace culture for gay staff.

This year 369 employers entered the Index from across the public, private and third sectors. LAS ranked 19, making the top 20 for the first time and rated the second highest NHS organisation, behind Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

Duty station officer and co-chair of the service’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Forum, Lee Hyett-Powell, said: ‘We’re delighted to be in the top 20 and to have improved again for the third year running is amazing. The news is especially welcome because it becomes more difficult every year as the competition gets tougher.’

SECAmb ranked 61, having become the second ambulance Trust in the country to join Stonewall’s equality programme in 2008.

Paul Sutton, chief executive of SECAmb, said: ‘I’m delighted that SECAmb has once again been ranked in Stonewall’s Top 100 employers list. We are committed to supporting equality and diversity at SECAmb and this is evidence of that. We are dedicated to supporting all our staff and providing a service that meets the needs of all our patients. We will continue to work hard to ensure that SECAmb is a workplace of choice where everyone is confident they can be themselves.’

‘Participation in Stonewall’s Index sends a powerful signal to an organisation’s commitment to its most vital resource, its people,’ says Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall.

‘Through our extensive research, Stonewall has established the truth behind the adage “people perform better when they can be themselves”. Staff who can be open about their sexuality are more likely to enjoy going to work, feel able to be themselves, form honest relationships with colleagues, are more confident and, ultimately, more productive. Put simply, improving the working environment for gay staff makes good business sense.’

Taken from Journal of Paramedic Practice, published 27 January 2014.

SECAmb announces governor election

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) is holding its Council of Governors election early in the new year as the terms of the existing governors will shortly come to an end.

Elections will place in four of the Trust’s six public constituencies with a total of seven seats to be contested.

As a Foundation Trust, SECAmb has a Council of Governors which works closely with SECAmb’s Board of Directors to ensure the Trust is accountable to the public it serves.

Public governors are elected by SECAmb’s public Foundation Trust members, of which there are over 8,000.

The public constituencies with vacancies are:
● Medway (1)
● East Sussex (1)
● Kent (3)
● Surrey (2)
The Council of Governors is made up of members of the public, SECAmb staff and stakeholders from organisations that work closely with SECAmb, such as the fellow emergency services and other NHS organisations.

Staff governor elections will also take place alongside the public governor elections.

There is one staff constituency with vacancy:
● Operational (1)
The Council performs various statutory duties as well as an important role in holding the Trust Board to account on behalf of members of the public and SECAmb staff.

It also represents the interests of and is accountable to the membership of the Trust. The Council has a broader duty to represent the general public in the areas served by the Trust and governors also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of committees and groups if they wish. Anyone aged 16 or over can become a public member.

Taken from Journal of Paramedic Practice, published 16 December 2013.