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.

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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

Amjid Wazir

Stoke City Council

Councillor for Hanley Park and Shelton


Your Comment
Your Suggestion
Your Question

What action have you taken to support BAME members of staff and service users during the Covid period and what do you plan to do over the future period to continue that support?

Our response

As a priority Trust managers have undertaken a risk assessment on our BAME staff and have achieved a 100% compliance rate for all our BAME clinical staff. Following the risk assessments staff has been offered a Health Screening MOT by our Occupational Health provider.

The Trust has also offered the following support as part of our ongoing health and wellbeing commitment to our BAME staff:

• Supplying information and advice about taking Vitamin D supplements
• Counselling support (including opportunity to request BAME counsellor)
• Access to debrief and Critical Incident Stress Management approaches following incidents
• New rest room facilities (including access to vegetarian and culturally-appropriate microwave meals)
• Strengthening infection, prevention and control by supplying access to disposal prayer mats and disposal religious /cultural headwear during COVID-19
• Reviewing racial incidents by patients and service users with our BAME staff to improve our response and prevention strategies.
• Regular wellbeing packages delivered to our front-of-house teams, including Eid wellbeing packages to our teams
• Highly supportive approach to Ramadan 2020 and other religious observance through COVID-19
• Online BAME Staff Network meetings in which we share details of numerous support sessions nationally with our workforce.
• Our BAME staff have received direct communications from our CEO; our Director of Workforce and BAME Network Lead, and our Diversity & Inclusion Lead and we have regular updates on BAME Inclusion in our Trust staff newsletter.
• Our BAME Education Practise Facilitator and our BAME Inclusion Facilitator / have been supporting the embedding of inclusion through our clinical teams.

The Trust recognises that in addressing the workforce inequalities that this will impact positively on addressing the health inequalities in our population. Summarised below is an overview of the measures we have in place to support the service user experience.

• The Trust has a Service User and Carer Council which is a group made up of representatives of the Trust Board, staff, service users, carers and parents. They review developments across the Trust providing feedback from themselves and the people they represent. Their aim is to ensure that the group’s perspectives are taken into account when the Trust plans and delivers services. It also looks to ensure that feedback is sought following service changes to ensure they are improving the quality of care and meeting service users’ needs.
• We undertake Equality Impact Assessments on any new services that are designed and delivered to ensure that there is no impact on the population that we serve.
• We provide an Interpretation & Translation Service to ensure our patients receive the support and information they need to access services, communicate with healthcare staff and to make informed decisions about their care and treatment.
• As part of the Accessible Information Standard (AIS) the Trust aims to make sure that people with a disability or sensory impairment, who are our patients, service users and their carers, have access to information that they can understand and any communication support they need to help them with their care journey.

Our focus on supporting our BAME staff moving forwards is to ensure that we continue to evolve our health and wellbeing support to meet their needs throughout these changing times. It is also recognised that in addition to supporting the health and wellbeing of our staff that there are the wider issues around the societal cultural transformation. To that end the Trust will be developing a programme for its leadership to ensure that our leaders understand and can fluently talk about race and ethnicity. This will enable the cultural transformation that is needed to be embedded both within the organisation and our population as part of our responsibility in addressing the health inequalities to improve the access and quality of care provided to our service users.

Click below to see the filmed response