Mental health, learning disabilities and autism workforce campaign scoops top prize

Posted on: 17 November 2023

We’re thrilled to announce that our partnership project between the mental health, learning disabilities and autism workforce collaborative and Touchstone has won the top prize for their project 'Inclusive Recruitment – Diversity in the Workplace' in the category Fairer Award for Diversity and Inclusion at the Datix Awards 2023. The project was also shortlisted for the recent Healthcare People Management Awards (HPMA), Working Smarter Award.

The MHLDA Collaborative has worked with Touchstone, a leading third sector provider of mental health and wellbeing services to trial different recruitment approaches. These included virtual recruitment, in-person events, a hyper local recruitment approach, employment workshops and 1-1 employment coaching support to reach diverse groups, under-represented groups.

Touchstone worked with the three local Mental Health Trusts in West Yorkshire - Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation TrustSouth West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust - to trial new and innovate approaches to ensure that we have a diverse workforce reflective of the local communities we work with. Specifically, to reduce barriers and increase awareness of job roles to diverse groups, support the Trusts being local anchor institutions, recruiting locally and supporting reduction in health inequalities.

The project is still ongoing but, as of September 2023, has engaged with over 1000 people at in person events, over 2700 through virtual events, provided 1-1 employment support to 135 people offered approximately 80 interviews, reached 44 people through employment workshops,  and 36 job offers made.

The communications campaign to promote the events included using Instagram Live events with a local influencer, TikTok videos, a local leaflet drop and building connections with local third sector organisations and Job Centres such as Workplace Leeds, Scope, Project Search, Bradford Skills House.

The next vFair is set to take place on 23 November. To find out more about the vFair and to book your place, you can visit the webpage.

The judges for this year were Lyn McIntyre, James Titcombe and Mark Britnell. Their comments for the award entry were: “Excellent submission, by being innovative they were able to demonstrate new ways of recruiting staff in a way that addresses equality and diversity, all really important issues for the NHS.” 

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