Jo Debenham

Jo Debenham
Director of Engagement

Jo has worked at EPUT for more than 21 years.

“I have been involved in the inclusion agenda for around eight years.  Our intention is to try and make this trust a place where your equality status is something to be proud of and should not get in the way of your care or work.  None of us get it right all the time but our values and culture mean that this is a place where we work together in an open and honest way. A really good place to work is one where staff can be free to practice, embrace and celebrate difference – to be open about who they are – and work without fear of less favourable treatment because of who they are.  Here at EPUT we welcome difference and believe that the more diverse we are as an employer, the better care we give our patients.

We use our equality and diversity reports to identify gaps and concerns and then these become our priorities for the following 12 months. They’re a sort of impact assessment of what our workforce looks like and then what we propose to do about it. There are some brilliant NHS-wide pieces of work going on at the moment looking at gaps in the treatment of some equality groups. We are asking: why is it that its harder for some groups to get promoted, access continuous professional development, or to avoid formal disciplinary action?

As engagement lead I want our team to engage with all of our staff and work through this together so that more staff are confident and proud of their equality status. After all, that’s the message we are trying to extend to patients and families.

Finally I am so proud to work in a place which I believe has some excellent examples of what we are trying to achieve. But it isn’t badged as equality and inclusion: it’s just part of how we treat each other every day. Staff are confident and proud of their heritage and their achievements and so are we.”

I welcome any suggestions or comments and can be contacted via jo.debenham@nhs.net