Shropshire’s acute hospitals have secured almost £50,000 from NHS Charities Together to support a ‘social inclusion’ project aimed at addressing health inequalities in the diverse population they cover.
The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which runs the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) and the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford, will use the money to address areas of inequality, particularly among members of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.
SaTH’s social inclusion project has three strands:
- Outreach and engagement with BAME and isolated communities
- Creation of multi-faith rooms on both sites
- Unconscious bias training to understand the lives and needs of the diverse communities served by SaTH
Julia Clarke, Director of Corporate Services at SaTH, said: “The communities we serve, and indeed our own workforce, are incredibly diverse. In Shropshire and mid Wales, we have an older population with rural isolation being a significant factor, whilst in Telford & Wrekin we have some of the most deprived areas in England. Unemployment in Telford & Wrekin has significantly increased since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and BAME communities have been disproportionately affected by this.
“The percentage of our workforce from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds is higher than the national average and higher than the population we serve.
“We need to ensure our hospitals and the services we provide are the best they can be for everybody we serve and, equally, that we make provisions for all our workforce. This grant will go a long way to helping us achieve that.”
Some of the money will be used to employ a Social Inclusion Project Officer for 12 months. Their job would be to build relationships with under-represented communities and provide ways for them to engage with the Trust to help shape services which meet their needs.
Another portion of the money will be used to create more inclusive multi-faith rooms, including at the Shropshire Women and Children’s Centre at PRH.
As part of this work, SaTH is conducting a survey about its Chapels, which can be found at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SaTHChaplaincySurvey
Julia said: “This is a very important project for the Trust and we are delighted to have secured the money from NHS Charities Together to drive it forward. On behalf of the Trust I would like to thank everyone who has supported NHS charities during this incredibly difficult time.”
SaTH also has its own charity – SaTH Charity – that people can choose to support and make a real difference to the patients, affected friends and family, and members of staff at RSH and PRH. For more information about SaTH Charity please visit www.sath.nhs.uk/about-us/charity