Kate Allen, CEO on Equality, Diversity & Inclusion
At the beginning of this week I shared my commitment within Kingwood that I/we will keep focussing our attention on equality, diversity and inclusion. I also committed to a number of actions that we will undertake to widen the diversity of people we employ and support. Gathering data on where we are now is an important step and will enable us to set some targets. Whilst we already have some core data that shows 40% of our autism support workers are male and 38% are from black and minority ethnic groups (BAME), there is greater analysis to be undertaken to get a better picture and then, to identify ways to attract a wide range of diverse applicants for roles. We will be particularly exploring how we can support career development for our BAME staff to improve diversity within our management teams. My full statement can be found here.
It was very exciting news this week that the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccination may also provide protection against transmission. This will be a brilliant breakthrough.
Vaccination progress remains slow in Oxfordshire, but numbers are slowly increasing, with 39 staff vaccinated within the organisation receiving vaccinations. We are submitting more employee information today for Oxfordshire employees to the Vaccination Programme Team, so I am hopeful more staff will get invited for their vaccinations soon. We are seeing transmissions reduce; we have 4 staff in Oxfordshire Covid positive, 1 member of staff in Buckinghamshire and we have less staff self-isolating. We have been supporting 4 people in a service in Oxfordshire with the virus. Three are much better and returning to their usual selves. I was worried when one of those people supported and 2 members of staff were admitted to hospital in the last week and greatly relieved to hear they have since been discharged to recuperate at home. We send them our best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Finally, but significantly, I was proud this week to speak at the Fair Pay Day. It was organised by the Future Social Care Coalition, a cross party group with prominent political membership. The day was full of well-known speakers sharing why social care staff should receive better pay. I introduced our #BetterPay4SocialCare campaign and, having been specifically asked to explain the financial challenge, I called for better provision of funding to local authorities to cover the increasing costs so that we can pay our staff better. All social care workers deserve better pay.
If you have not yet done so, please sign and share our petition for #BetterPay4SocialCare.