Roger Kline is a Research Fellow at Middlesex University Business School and is the author of a number of papers and articles on the topic of discrimination at work

It was attended by almost 60 people from across the NHS in Cumbria and the north east.

The aim of the event was for the group to take a look at the connections between the work environment and bullying/harassment, understanding and addressing forms of bias within our conversations and get better performance management outcomes.

Roger Kline said ”The aim of today is for staff to have some understanding of research in recent years that shows that inclusive behaviours in teams and organisations are indispensable for making health care as safe and effective as it should be. Diversity is good; it helps to makes our organisations more effective and safer. It is good for staff health and wellbeing, making it a safe place for people to raise concerns, be innovative staff and be creative”. 

Suzanne Hamilton opened the event and spoke about our culture, behaviours and values in the NHS. Participants started the day by completing a self-assessment of how inclusive we are as individuals, as an organisation how we relate, engage with others and their understanding of Equality & Diversity.

Round the table discussions took place about personal experiences of inclusivity and how we challenge those behaviours.

Roger spoke about bullying, harassment, incivility and the cost to the NHS. He also spoke about, improving diversity, inclusion, recruitment and the benefits it brings which includes, creativity, innovation, risk management and information processing.

Phillipa Poole equality, diversity and inclusion lead at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust said: “It was really interesting to hear from Roger Kline who highlighted the ongoing challenges to make the NHS more inclusive.

“I enjoyed the opportunity to listen to other Trust’s examples that mirror our Trust, how do we empower staff to challenge poor behaviours? Thanks to Jennifer and the team for organising the masterclass.”

Lindiwe Fynn from mental health services in Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust said “I enjoyed the masterclass and this has reinforced the need for our organisation to change, that it is no longer acceptable to avoid the uncomfortable conversations that need to take place. I think it’s really important for senior leaders to listen to people’s lived experience and learn from this. I feel inspired to be part of an organisation that is keen to make changes.”

Kerry Harmer, community manager from Carlisle ICC said “Roger Kline presented an informative session about inclusive leadership. I have learned a lot which I plan to take away and practice. Mainly around listening to all staff to really hear their concerns and act on their ideas.

“I will ensure recruitment processes are more inclusive and really challenge my own and my teams approach to try and minimise bias. Lots of positives for me to work on Thank you.”

Jennifer McCall from Workforce Futures and Inclusion, NCIC said “This is just the start. I will be analysing the feedback from the day and will update on what happens next to progress this work across the system, thank you to all who participated and together we can make the change, as ‘it starts with me.’”

Watch the video here