Jo Debenham

Jo Debenham
Director of Engagement

Years worked in the Trust: 21 years

“I have been involved in the inclusion agenda for around 8 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 – 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. 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. So BME staff and White Staff, Men and Women and Disabled and non-disabled people. Why is it that its harder for some of these groups to get promoted/avoid formal disciplinary action or get continuous professional development?

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 its just part of every day how we treat each other. 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