Two clinicians discussing a set of notes

At Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust we have the following staff networks.

  • Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage Network (REACH)
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning Community and Ally Network (LGBTQ+)
  • Disability and Wellbeing Network (DAWN)
  • Men’s Health


What are they?

Staff networks are a group of colleagues, often with a shared background, culture, experience, or a characteristic, that come together to support each other and work with the Trust to improve staff and patient experience.


Why are staff networks important?

  • Allow people from similar backgrounds to share experiences specific to them within the same field of work (healthcare).
  • Not just for minority groups for example Men’s Health Network is a place for people who are passionate about male health etc.
  • Safe space for people to discuss their concerns and experiences.
  • Bring staff together to help tackle challenges in the present.
  • Provide invaluable feedback to the Trust as a collective voice on things such as policies and innovative ideas.
  • Contribute to the continuous improvement of inclusion and diversity.
  • Support staff who are experiencing challenges at work
  • Provide a platform to show an employer’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion by showing how it values its staff and their opinions.
  • Help to educate the wider workforce on diversity and inclusion.
  • Help cultivate an inclusive culture by eradicating discrimination through education and awareness.
  • They don’t just benefit staff, they can also benefit patients
  • Research has shown that diverse teams have staff that are more productive, can solve problems faster and have increased ability to innovate.
  • Key mechanism for driving meaningful change and making a difference
  • Empowering people with the opportunity to grow personally and professionally.
  • Help disseminate best practice


How do they benefit staff?

  • Increases their sense of belonging
  • Helps them to feel included
  • Empowers them to raise concerns in safe environment.
  • Opportunity to meet new people from areas of the organisation they would never normally meet.
  • Social events throughout the year
  • Access to the newest equality, diversity, and inclusion information.
  • Able to influence change within the Trust.