Ask the Board Submission and Our Response

In May 2020, Combined Healthcare was proud to launch a new online facility as part of its ongoing commitment to openness, transparency and innovation.

Using this new facility anyone can use a webform – available by clicking here – to make a comment or suggestion or ask a question in advance of each Open Trust Board meeting.   A response is provided as part of the Chair’s Report to the Board meeting, which are publicly available as videos shortly after the meeting.

The archive of previously asked questions and our responses is provided below, together with a link to the relevant filmed response.  

You can search all responses or filter by the name of the person asking the question – the “Your Name” field and/or the Board meeting where the question was asked and responded to.

You can also do a full word search of any comments, questions or suggestions.

To clear a search and begin again, use the “Reset” button.

To read our written response, click on the questioner’s name.

To view our Chair’s video response, click on the link below the question.

If you have any questions about “Ask the Board Online”, contact the Communications Team at

Andrew Budworth

Stoke on Trent Pride



Your Comment
Your Suggestion
Your Question

What events, activities and promotions did Combined Healthcare carry out for Stoke-on-Trent Pride this year and what are you doing to ensure that the rights and profile of your LGBT staff and service users are protected and promoted all year round, not simply during the annual Pride period?

Our response

At Combined this year, I am delighted that we have still been able to celebrate and raise awareness about Pride, despite the pandemic.

It is important to us to show our support for all our colleagues and service users and their families who are LGBT+. We are proud to have held our own socially-distanced Pride ‘flag wave of honour’ at Harplands Hospital, led by one of our student nurses,” said Shajeda Ahmed, Director of Workforce, OD and Inclusion. “We have sent out some Pride-themed goodies to our teams, including our ‘Proud to be LGBT’ inclusive stickers and Trans flag stickers which have been displayed across team and services. Thank you to Andrew Budworth of Stoke Pride for donating many of the Pride goodies.

We fully recognise the importance of Pride, but as the question alludes to, the rights of our colleagues and people from the LGBT+ community need to be protected and promoted all year round. This is absolutely our stance at Combined and we have worked hard and continue to do so, to develop and strengthen our inclusive culture.

We created our Inclusion Council to accelerate the development of a more inclusive culture. Supporting this Council, are a number of staff networks who represent, provide voice to and support groups of people from under-represented groups, which includes our LGBT+ staff network.

The Council is chaired by Peter Axon, Combined CEO with our Executive Lead for Diversity & Inclusion, Shajeda Ahmed, Director of Workforce, OD and Inclusion and includes executive Board and staff side representation, helping to advise, influence and direct activity to help us improve the rights and inclusivity of staff, service users and members of the public from the LGBT+ community.

On the 14 February 2020 we ran our Annual LGBT+ Inclusion Conference. This was opened by our CEO, Peter Axon and co-facilitated by Jonathan O’Brien, our Director of Operations and Deputy CEO with Jenny Harvey, our Staff Side Chair, both of whom are proud members of the LGBT+ community. High profile national guest speakers shone the spotlight on a range of LGBT+ topics which were supplemented by participant workshops.

The event was open to anyone that wanted to attend and not limited to staff working at Combined. We had colleagues from 3rd sector organisations, social care, other NHS providers and members of the public, as well as our own staff, some of whom are from the LGBT+ community or allies, wanting to learn more to support their colleagues, service users or loved ones and families members from the LGBT+ community. Our people are at the heart of everything we do and our ethos is to continue building, developing and embedding our culture of inclusion at Combined.

Click below to see the filmed response