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.