- Start date: 1 October 2023
- End date: 31 July 2024
- Principal investigator: Professor Lynda Song
- Co-investigators: Professor Ahmed Mostafa, Dr Aleksandra Irnazarow, Dr Rajinder Bhandal
- Researchers: Gabby Keating, Dr Jiang Yang
The proposed research project addresses three critical areas within the National Health Service (NHS), each focusing on enhancing the wellbeing and integration of its diverse workforce. The first area of focus is supporting the mental health of minority ethnic NHS staff. This need has been amplified by the coronavirus pandemic, which disproportionately affected these workers.
Our previous research, funded by the UKRI COVID-19 grant (ES/W001780/1), lays the groundwork for developing a policy brief with targeted recommendations to improve their mental health. This initiative aims to provide the NHS with an evidence-based framework to address these ongoing challenges, ultimately aiming to reduce workforce attrition.
Additionally, the project aims to streamline the onboarding process for international and migrant NHS staff. With the increasing influx of international nurses, it's essential to ensure their smooth integration into the UK healthcare system. Our proposed research will create a training toolkit to assist these nurses in adapting to the cultural and practical aspects of their roles within the NHS.
Finally, the project seeks to enhance cultural awareness among NHS managers. Building on existing research and collaboration with NHS partners, we plan to develop and trial cultural competence training. This initiative is designed to improve inclusivity by increasing cultural awareness and competence among managers, thereby positively impacting managerial practices and the performance of ethnic minority employees.
This project is funded by the Research England Impact and Engagement Support Fund (IESF).
The research overview for this project involves a series of structured activities aimed at developing effective interventions and tools for the NHS. The first key activity is the development of a policy brief, informed by insights gathered from over 60 qualitative interviews with NHS staff and findings from four workshops, including the pivotal 'HR Management Practices for Ethnic Minority Health Workers' Wellbeing' workshop held in July 2023. This workshop highlighted the critical mental health issues faced by ethnic minority NHS workers in the post-Covid era. The firsthand experiences and accounts collected will be instrumental in forming informed and impactful policy recommendations.
Another significant aspect of the project is the creation of a toolkit designed to support the onboarding of international nurses.
Additionally, the project includes the organization of “community of practice” style meetings to discuss barriers and solutions to inclusivity challenges in health, social care, and public health organizations. This will facilitate the co-design of a cultural competence training intervention.
Our study aims to contribute to the three themes of the research impact and investigate the three objectives:
- Contributing to the inclusive culture and working environment
- Contributing to the creation of supportive HR interventions for international staff
- Contributing to enhancing trust and the need to belong of ethnic minority colleagues.