Staff networks help people come together around a shared purpose to improve staff experience within their organisations and across the NHS. With over 700 staff networks operating across the NHS in England, each provides a protected space where people can be open and inclusive, nurturing a culture of belonging and trust.
They are also business critical entities which are crucial for understanding, particularly for minority communities whose voices are less heard and more likely to face discrimination. The NHS Constitution and NHS People Plan require NHS employing organisations to create inclusive workplace environments that support staff to have a voice.
To help staff networks succeed, sponsors play an important role to help drive forward and embed equality, diversity, and inclusion across their organisation. They can provide visible leadership relating to the protected characteristic sponsored and can role model through their lived experience or as an ally. Many senior leaders take on the role of Board level staff network sponsor either by choice or by appointment.
Our Staff Networks Board and Senior Leaders Development offer is designed to help current and emerging staff network sponsors develop and strengthen the necessary skills to succeed in their role, and to also help improve the experiences of NHS staff through reducing or eradicating inequities from decision-making approaches that exclude staff voices.
Our offer provides tools for staff network sponsors to adapt and adopt to help support their staff network. These are built on good practice using flexible components such as experiential learning and e-learning to accommodate learning requirements, local needs and individual career aspirations of senior leaders in the NHS.