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18 Oct 2022

‘Leaving no one behind’ – working together to deliver positive change in equality, diversity and inclusion

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‘Leaving no one behind’ – working together to deliver positive change in equality, diversity and inclusion

Judith Rankin is Professor of Maternal and Child Health at Newcastle University and the Supporting Children and Families Theme lead for the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) North East and North Cumbria (NENC). She is also our ARC lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

In this blog, she reflects on the recently launched NIHR Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) strategy and what we’re doing as an ARC to ensure we deliver positive change in equality, diversity and inclusion.

Leaving no one behind

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) has released its first Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy, with a series of action plans to follow.

This is the first time NIHR has produced an EDI strategy and signals their strong commitment to fostering an inclusive environment.

This strategy has at its core, the aim to deliver positive change across all of the NIHR; from its workforce to those that participate in NIHR funded research, to the public who partner with NIHR.

The Strategy is based around five themes, adopts a learning approach and recognises the impact of intersectionality.

What we’re doing in our region to ensure we’re equal and inclusive

Within the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) North East and North Cumbria (NENC), we established an EDI Group in July 2021 with members from across the network.

The ARC NENC Board is in full support of this work and committed to increasing not only the diversity of our staff and students within the ARC but also the diversity of those we partner with.

We have developed our terms of reference and are in the process of developing a series of blogs that illustrate our commitment to EDI in action. We’ve also taken part in training in EDI as a group.

However, establishing a positive, supportive and inclusive culture goes way beyond blogs and training, as important as they are in the EDI jigsaw.

If our work is to be meaningful, it requires everyone to be committed to working together to embed EDI in all that we do.

The launch of the NIHR EDI strategy and its action plans is a call for action across the whole NIHR community. It is rightly ambitious. So why not play your part.

If you would like to know more about the ARC NENC EDI Group or become a member, please contact myself as chair of the group – judith.rankin@newcastle.ac.uk or get in touch with the ARC NENC – arcnenc@cntw.nhs.uk

Professor Judith Rankin is also Dean of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Newcastle University and a member of NIHR’s ‘Greater Diversity and Inclusion on Committees’ Working Group.