Like a Kid at Christmas: Supporting the Children of GOSH

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH) is a Trust we work closely with in a corporate sense, and one which does fantastic work through their charitable arm the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. GOSH is dedicated to children’s healthcare and to finding new and better ways to treat childhood illnesses. This festive season, our Hunter Healthcare team felt driven to momentarily put aside the pressures of their own busy Christmas schedules to support the work of the charity, the hospital and the patients they support. 

Hamleys Toy Store is a name synonymous with fun, joy and childhood wonder, and never is this more true than during the special Christmas season. Sadly this festive season some of the children currently staying at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH) were not well enough to make their own way to Hamleys, which is why our team decided to take it upon themselves to bring a little bit of that Hamleys magic to them. 

Our Hunter Healthcare family were tasked with channelling their inner child, after being given a brief asking them to buy gifts for the children of GOSH on Hunter’s behalf. After being let loose in the store to let their imaginations run wild, our team brought the gifts they had purchased to the Great Ormond Street Charity for distribution to hospitalised children and children’s wards.  

We hope these gifts bring joy and fun to hospitalised children and their families this Christmas. Our team is very grateful to have had the opportunity to support the work of the GOSH hospital and charity. 

Thank you to Hamleys Oxford Street for hosting our Hunter team and sharing in our support of this wonderful cause. If you too would like to support the fantastic work of the Great Ormond Street Charity, more information can be found here: 

Congratulations to all named on the Gifted Ethnic Minority Staff (G.E.MS) 75@75 Leaders List

Hunter Healthcare has been proud to sponsor the recent collaboration between Colourful Healthcare, the organisers of the annual National BAME Health and Care Awards, and The Seacole Group, the national network for ethnic minority Non-Executive Directors and Chairs, on the launch of the first Gifted Ethnic Minority Staff (GEMS) 75@75 Leaders List.

Statistics from the latest NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard report show that staff from Black, Asian and minoritised groups make up almost a quarter of the overall NHS workforce, with similar statistics in the adult social care sector. This report also showed that individuals from these backgrounds make up more than two-fifths of doctors, dentists, and nurses, and almost a third of nurses and midwives within the NHS. Given these statistics, it is important to recognise and celebrate the significant contributions people from these groups have made to the NHS and the wider health and care sector.

Created to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the NHS, the GEMS 75@75 list was designed to recognise the difference being made by health and social care professionals from Black, Asian and other minoritized backgrounds. Nominations for the list were open throughout the month of October (Black History Month), with individuals from within the health and social care sector and beyond being encouraged to recognise the impactful work of their peers by nominating them to be featured on the list.

These nominations have now been compiled, and the 75@75 list has been officially released and can be found here. Congratulations to all of the individuals named on the list. You should be incredibly proud of the contributions you have made and will continue to make within the health and care environment.

Hampers with Heart: Giving Back During the Festive Season

Here at Hunter everything we do is underpinned by our five key company values. One of these values is Do Right – driving us to do right by each other, by our clients, by our candidates and also by our local neighbours. One such neighbour, located across the road from our London office, is the Covent Garden Pantry food bank.

Covent Garden Pantry is a partnership between the Covent Garden Community Centre @ Seven Dials Club, Covent Garden Dragon Hall Trust and The Phoenix Garden. The food bank is a community-run initiative, set up as a response to the Cost of Living crisis. It is designed to meet the immediate need of people in the Holborn and Covent Garden area in need of food and hygiene products.

In the spirit of the festive season and to support this fantastic work, last week a group of Hunter staff members gathered together to put together food hampers of donated items to be given to the Covent Garden Pantry food bank initiative. These hampers were assembled to meet the needs of those struggling in the area, with our team specifically focusing on what might bring extra cheer and relieve some stress during the busy Christmas time. Essential items such as tea, spreads and canned goods were included as well as sweet treats such as chocolates to help spread some joy at what can otherwise be a difficult time of year for some.

In what truly became a neighbourhood effort, The Shaftesbury Theatre very kindly allowed us to use their facilities as a space to put together the hampers, free of charge. We are incredibly grateful for this very compassionate gesture. Once the hampers were complete, our team delivered these to the Covent Garden Pantry to be distributed to the local community.

The overwhelming response from our Hunter team members was around how rewarding it was to take time away from the busyness of our own personal lives to be able to do something for those in need, and we are very grateful to have had the opportunity to engage in an activity such as this. We hope these hampers will go some way towards supporting people in our community who are struggling during the festive season this year.

If you would also like to show your support to the Food Bank, more information can be found here.


Hunter Healthcare is proud to be listed on the NHS Employers Ethical Recruiter List for International Recruitment

Hunter Healthcare is proud to be listed on the NHS Employers Ethical Recruiters List for International Recruitment.

The list has been compiled to create a database of recruitment organisations, agencies and collaborations that operate in accordance with the revised Code of Practice. The guiding principles of the code are as follows:

  • If recruitment is managed properly, international migration of health and social care personnel can develop and strengthen the health and social care systems in both the country of origin and destination country.
  • Individuals, organisations and the wider health and care system are afforded opportunities to train, educate and enhance their clinical practice.
  • Recruitment from countries on the red list is prohibited, unless there is an explicit government-to-government agreement in place.
  • International recruitment of health and social care personnel is closely monitored by Cross Whitehall International Recruitment Steering Group and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
  • With regard to employment and conditions of work, international health and social care personnel will have the same rights and responsibilities as domestically trained staff. This includes access to further education and training, as well as continuous professional development.

To be named on the list organisations must display a commitment to fully adhering to and complying with the Employment Agencies Act 1973 and associated conduct regulations, as well as demonstrating an understanding of the Code of Practice and how it affects the recruitment activity we undertake.

Hunter Healthcare was accepted onto the Ethical Recruiters List in November 2023, and proudly adhere to the terms set out by NHS Employers for inclusion on the list.

Our Learns: The Acute & General Medicine Conference 2023

Hunter Healthcare were proud to attend the Acute and General Medicine Conference this year at London’s ExCeL Centre. The Acute and General Medicine Conference is regarded as the ‘largest annual conference and exhibition involved in emergency, acute and advanced internal medicine’. Isobel Harrop (Medical) and I (Jackson Wilson, Governance, Quality and Nursing) were there, representing Hunter. We had a great time speaking with doctors and nurses from different specialties across the country about their experiences and the issues that are affecting them at the moment.

We were also fortunate to be in sight of Theatre E and so, in between conversations, we managed to catch some of the fascinating lectures that had been going on throughout the conference. Two of the lectures that we found particularly powerful were “Women Empowering Women in Medicine” presented by Dr. Sarb Clare, Deputy Medical Director of Sandwell and West Birmingham, and “Unconscious Bias, Bullying & Behaviour Change” by Scarlett McNally, a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at East Sussex.

While they were on separate topics they both spoke of issues that we hear about every day, and (based on the packed crowds they drew) issues that doctors and nurses know all too well. What was particularly impactful was how both lectures highlighted that these are systemic issues, with no one individual to blame, while also emphasising the individual cost of discrimination and what we, as individuals, can do about it. Dr. Clare gave pragmatic advice on how women can support the women they work with, while Ms. McNally asked us to question our own preconceptions and biases, even those we may not be aware we have.

At Hunter, we speak with individuals across the NHS, so we know the difficulties that people often face and it was incredibly moving to see these issues being talked about so openly. We also know how difficult it can be to implement lasting behavioural and cultural change. It takes the right people being in the right place at the right time. We understand this and we are proud of the work we have done to support this. Most recently we sponsored Colourful Healthcare and the Seacole Group’s Hidden Gem awards, celebrating NHS staff from diverse racial backgrounds, and we supported Lancashire Teaching Hospitals with the placement of the NHS’s first ever Filipino Chief Nurse.

In the current climate, now more than ever it is important to remember how much value diversity of thought and background can bring especially within the healthcare sector. Dr. Clare and Ms. McNally’s impactful lectures emphasized the collective responsibility to combat discrimination, providing valuable insights into fostering a more inclusive healthcare environment. As we continue our commitment to supporting positive change, we are reminded of the vital role diversity plays in enhancing the healthcare sector, and we remain dedicated to championing inclusivity and supporting organisations to address the challenges within the sector.

If you or your organisation would like to have a conversation about how we might be able to support you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Making Diversity a Reality at Board Level

Following a recommendation from Yvonne Coghill, The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) came to us with a dilemma: they had a significant amount of diversity within their Nursing workforce in particular, and no Black or Minority Ethnic representation on their Executive Board. The NHS set a target to increase the representation of Black Minority Ethnic staff in senior leadership roles to 20% by 2021.

The population of Morecambe Bay is considerably less ethnically diverse than the population of England. Black and Minority Ethnic groups account for only 5% of the resident population (including white non-British). Nevertheless, recent WRES data shows that at UHMBT, 40% of nurses up to Band 5 and 12% up to band 7, are Black or Minority Ethnic. However, there were only two BME senior nurses who had reached band 8a. Upon speaking with the Head of Inclusion and Engagement at UHMBT, it was also clear that some staff were experiencing racism from their colleagues. Therefore, alongside campaigns such as UHMBT’s Anti Racist Nursing Leadership Programme, it was important to the Trust that their next Executive Chief Nurse (ECN) would not only champion diversity, but tackle racism and commit to their Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) programmes.

To increase diversity at Board level, we recognise that the support must be in place for Nursing leaders to take the leap, into territory where they may feel underrepresented. We undertook the following steps to encourage an inclusive recruitment process, which would be attractive not just to current ECN’s, but also experienced deputies:

  • Mentoring: we spoke with Nursing leaders at ICB level to agree a two-year wrap around mentoring programme for the joining ECN, to encourage those with less experience to apply.
  • Intentional and proactive in our efforts: Hunter’s collaborative research with The Seacole Group, ‘The Way Forward’, indicated that only 14% of respondents found out about their role through traditional advertisement. We engaged with Nursing leaders through diversity networks, following recommendations, and those we knew had not been appointed at other recent shortlisting events, which can discourage individuals from applying for similar opportunities.
  • Inclusive language: recruitment materials made specific reference to tackling inequalities in the Trust and the community. This made it clear that UHMBT recognises that having representation of the workforce at the top allows for a wider range of perspectives, more creative and innovative solutions to challenges, improves employee morale and reduces turnover.
  • Feedback: If candidates were not interested in the opportunity, we asked them what would need to be different to encourage them to apply. If we could see a reasonable pathway to accommodate these changes, we challenged UHMBT to do so.
  • Knowledge building: candidates valued the opportunity to speak to their potential future Board colleagues informally, whilst Hunter gave them insight on how their skills and perspective might enable them to add value to UHMBT and the Board.
  • Support and assistance: candidates need to be able to draw on the advice, guidance, and support on the recruitment team during what can be a difficult and unfamiliar process. This included interview preparation and writing advice, particularly if English was a second language or they had not undergone a formal interview process for some time.
  • EDI focused stakeholder session: to ensure the appointed candidate would be an accountable champion for the Nursing workforce, the candidates chaired their own stakeholder sessions, including one with a panel consisting of the Inclusion and Engagement leaders at UHMBT.

Following a competitive shortlisting process, UHMBT has welcomed Tabetha Darmon as their next ECN, who was the Interim Executive Director of Nursing at Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Tabetha is part of the NHS BAME Leadership network and has a commitment to being both the patient and clinician ‘voice’. She is a graduate from the Nye Bevan Leadership Programme and has over 15 years of experience in Nursing leadership.