Suffolk and North East Essex ICS has identified ‘Enabling health equalities for everyone’ as its primary ambition over the next five years. A charter has been developed to reinforce the key role that local NHS organisations have to optimally impact on the health and wellbeing of our local communities.
By signing the charter, NHS organisations within the ICS footprint will be overtly recognised as being a local anchors and embed this ethos into their organisational vision/mission, values, culture/communications, behaviours, leadership, corporate planning and budgeting. They will work together through the Suffolk and North East Essex ICS Partnership Board to seek and agree best practice, to measure impact and hold each other to account and actively commit to the following;
Local Anchor Institutions
- Recruitment – We actively will address local employment issues by ensuring we are as open and accessible as possible in our recruitment processes and that we ensure our communities understand how we recruit and the opportunities that we have. We will, focus on supporting and increasing local employment opportunities to residents and actively targeting recruitment from within our most deprived communities. We will focus on providing more opportunities for inclusive employment, addressing both geographical areas and encouraging people who are furthest from employment , including residents with a mental health issues, learning, physical or sensory disability or who are care leavers through focused outreach programmes to consider roles within health, care, and our partner organisations.
- Training, development and progression – We will help and encourage local people to work within health and care by ensuring that they are aware of the varied employment and careers the NHS and partners can offer including training and the skills transferability support we give. This will include delivering a targeted schools engagement programme, promoting apprenticeships and career programmes linking to Job Centre Plus, Further Education, local Adult Learning institutions and university partners. We will commit to supporting lower paid staff to reach their potential via inclusive personal and professional development, flexible working, transparent progression pathways and excellent management and mentorship.
- Healthy Workplaces – We will ensure all health organisations provide inclusive, healthy workplace wellbeing schemes that reach all staff especially those with highest needs. We will actively seek staff engagement to help us with this agenda to ensure we address issues that are most important to our workforce. Where possible we will look to influence our providers to adopt these same practices.
- Volunteering, work experience and mentorship – We will increase opportunities for local people to volunteer in our organisations; this will help to support an understanding of the opportunities for people in health and care employment and widen inclusion and diversity. We will work with local education providers to promote work experience opportunity and look to how we can support local people into health and care careers through an active mentorship scheme. We will encourage staff to volunteer in their communities and to act as “health career advocates” with local schools and exerting local influence where they can through these opportunities within their communities.
Recognising our role as anchors and working together to support communities
- Each organisation will recognise their role in being a local anchor and commit to working within the anchor network and with system partners on this agenda so to maximise the collective influence we have in addressing socio-economic and environmental determinants.
- By embedding this anchor mission into our ethos through our organisational vision, values, culture, communications, behaviours, leadership, corporate planning and budgeting, we will seek to support inclusive, sustainable growth and the people and communities we are anchored within.
- We will listen to our communities to ensure that our mission addresses what matters most to them and work with them through our partnerships to make sure our influence supports positive change.
- We commit to work together through the Suffolk and North East Essex ICS Board to seek and agree best practice, to measure impact and hold each other to account. We will share best practice and learning as an active network of anchors within the system and with wider partners.
- Local supply chains – We will procure locally wherever possible, and it is deemed appropriate, from Small and Medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and microbusinesses. We will actively work with other local anchor institutions to understand opportunity and promote these to local business through engagement channels. This will contribute towards indirect local employment and support economic, sustainable growth within the local area. We will expect providers to support the similar workforce practices to those we espouse.
- Social and environmental value from procuring goods and services – We will build social value into our supply chain contracts looking to increase ‘additional value’ from our providers that bring benefit to our communities. Through the social value offer, we will look to support inclusive employment opportunities to local people and seek wider value to areas such as environment, climate action and zero carbon.
As land and asset owners
- Best use of land and assets – We will utilise and maximise the use of our estate to ensure that we can support our staff and local communities. We will do this through sharing our land assets to support need through concepts such as green space, encouraging community groups to use void spaces and we will work with our local planning authority partners to ensure that NHS land disposals, where possible, supports the delivery of housing for local communities including our own NHS staff (or essential public sector workforce).
- New development – We will procure capital build developments and regeneration of estate projects in ways which support the creation of local jobs, skills, training and apprenticeships, with focus on young people and those facing disadvantage. We will seek to engage with local SME and microbusinesses either directly or via supply chains where possible and ensure that social value becomes embedded within these development schemes.
- Environmentally sustainable practices – We will reduce our carbon footprint by improving energy efficiency and reducing waste and water consumption. We will influence sustainable practices in the local community, by advocating for schemes that reduce pollution. We will encourage active and sustainable travel options to and from our sites. We will work with partners to promote environmentally sustainable practices and support green growth and the green economy through our commitment to the environment.