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Pace setting award for Trust

Press release - 17 February 2010

The forward-thinking approach to attracting more people from black and ethnic minority communities to choose a career in the ambulance service was recognised recently.

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust (SECAmb) was presented with an award in recognition of the work it has been doing to increase the number of people from black and ethnic minority communities applying for positions within the Trust.

The award was presented at the conference, Setting the Pace, hosted by South East Coast Strategic Health Authority, on Tuesday, 2 February. 

The event celebrated some of the region’s Pacesetters’ pioneering schemes which are aiming to reduce health inequalities for patients and creating NHS work places that are free from discrimination.

The ambulance service has historically employed very few black or ethnic minority staff.  The low level of representation is partly because far fewer black and ethnic minority people apply for positions within NHS trusts like SECAmb.  It has also been established that the BME community are not aware of the career and development opportunities that exist within the ambulance service.

The “Diversity in the Workplace” project is looking at ways of attracting good candidates, using the most cost effective means.

It has got off to a flying start with a successful workshop and focus groups with representatives from 18 community groups working with and for BME communities. 

The project reached its climax in October 2009, during Black History and Diversity Month with The Voice carrying an ‘advertorial’ in its south east edition, featuring Chief Executive Paul Sutton and Consultant Paramedic Andy Newton.

SECAmb’s Director of Workforce and Development, Kath Start, picked up the award on behalf of the Trust.

She said: “It is wonderful that the positive and proactive approach that the Trust is taking to attract a diverse workforce has been recognised in this way.  Events like this held in the region are important for sharing best practices.”

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