NHS mental health Trust receives more funding for disability partnership

5 December 2023

The NHS Trust providing mental health services in Sussex has successfully bid for funding to continue improving the lives of disabled staff for a second year running.

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team have been awarded £11,999 in the NHS England EDI Improvement Awards, picking up the Inclusive and Safe Workplace prize.

It's after a similar award last year which saw the Trust receive £9,999 to make a video about improving disability declaration rates and take it on a roadshow. It helped increase the Trust's disability declaration rate rising from 10.43% to 11.61% in the last year, making it the second-best Trust in the country for staff who feel safe to share a disability.

The funding from this year's award will enable the Trust to continue a long-standing partnership with disability charity Scope by developing bespoke resources around recognising and responding to ableism.

Emma Mendes da Costa, Workforce Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead at Sussex Partnership, said:

"I'm really proud of my team for securing NHSE funding two years running and we're really looking forward to extending the Trust's Scope partnership and further improving the experience of our deaf, disabled and neurodivergent colleagues."

The partnership with Scope has focused on the delivery of tailored disability inclusion and inclusive recruitment workshops. The workshops have been delivered to 153 members of staff so far, and feedback suggests 97% of attendees would recommend the training to their colleagues.

Funmi Onamusi, Chief People Officer at Sussex Partnership, said:

"To be recognised in this category is a fantastic achievement for a team so dedicated to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace. One of our key values at the Trust is making sure everyone counts, and the team have done a brilliant job in living true to this value."