Spotlight on AACE’s Anti-Racism promises: August




This August as part of our Spotlight on Racism feature, North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust are highlighting their work on their leadership support circles. 

Leadership Support Circles:
Be inclusive in the way you lead

Leadership Support Circles are a reflective space for managers at all levels to come together in a multi-disciplinary setting to share their experiences and be heard. Leadership support circles offer time and reflective safe space for those with responsibility for managing others.

At NWAS, the ‘Be Think Do’ model sets out a number of behavioural indicators which show our leadership values and culture embedded within each and every touchpoint of our leadership lifecycle – from recruitment through to talent management.  This philosophy underpins their leadership and development offer, and all staff are encouraged to embrace the ‘Be Think Do’ principle.  It is an ethos which encourages us all to consider not only what we do, but how we do things.

Click above to learn more 

Inclusive Leadership

Why this matters

The COVID-19 pandemic widened some of the health inequalities we have been working hard to address in the health and care service. Equality, diversity and inclusion are integral to the way we live and operate – not an additional responsibility. We can be inclusive while also leading a fast-moving service.

Managers and leaders are best placed to recognise the variety of personal factors and characteristics which might increase risk for members of their team. These are not restricted to ethnicity, and might include:

  • Faith, for instance, Muslim colleagues observing Ramadan may need special consideration for the potential impact of fasting on their energy levels.
  • Physical and sensory disabilities, and neurodiversity, might affect how team members experience and react to the pressure and pace of change.
  • The nature of family structures or caring responsibilities may affect an individual’s availability or emotional wellbeing.

What factors affect inclusive leadership? 

It is increasingly understood that there are systemic factors and implicit biases which contribute to the discrimination experienced by some people. Once we recognise the pervasiveness of unconscious biases, there are certain things we can do to minimise their appearance and impact. These include:

  • Getting into the habit of sense checking key decisions.
  • Taking opportunities to flip the script – promoting examples which run counter to the stereotypes.
  • Encouraging diverse socialisation.
  • Challenging discriminatory behaviour.
  • Identifying and monitoring danger points, e.g. decision-making in recruitment, diagnosis and resource allocation.
  • Trying to minimise contextual factors which promote implicit bias, e.g. stress, deadlines, ambiguity.

The Support Circles for Leaders aims to help managers and leaders to create an inclusive environment in their teams, through communication, decision-making, staff-wellbeing, remote working, and by challenging discriminatory practices.

With kind thanks to Wesley Proverbs, Paramedic and NWAS Race Equality Network Chair, North West Ambulance Service, for providing this content.

We’ll continue to post our Spotlight updates each month in our website’s News section and via Twitter at @AACE_Org.

You can find more information about our anti-racism promises, along with messages from all of our Ambulance Trust CEOs on our Stamping Out Racism page.