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Dorset HealthCare is proud to have been awarded Disability Confident Employer status, showing a commitment to improving the way it attracts, recruits and supports people with a disability.
The Disability Confident scheme requires organisations to submit evidence detailing ways in which they support disabled people – such as better access to buildings, training, adjustments to the workplace or changes to recruitment processes.
There are three accreditation levels to reach – Committed, Employer and Leader – and, once completed, an official badge is awarded for use on all branding and marketing.
The Trust achieved the first level (Committed) two years ago, and gaining Employer status means we can now apply to become a Leader.
Trust Equality and Diversity Manager Dave Corbin said: “Currently, around 4% of our employees have shared that they have a disability and we want everyone who works with Dorset HealthCare to have a positive experience and feel supported in their role.
“This award will also support our recruitment activities and enable us to attract more people to join Dorset HealthCare as we demonstrate that finding the best people is the most important thing for us.
“Being recognised as a Disability Confident Employer shows that we do all that we can to ensure people are treated fairly.This work shows we are committed to moving barriers and changing culture, and that we see disability as an asset.”
Karen Cockram, 56, works in credit control as a sales ledger clerk at the Trust, and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2015.
She has felt well supported by her line manager and colleagues since sharing that she has the condition.
“I had no reservations about telling my line managers, and they have been really supportive. Various steps have been taken to make my life easier and to ensure I don’t struggle unnecessarily in the workplace”, she said.
“I have a headset with dictation software so I don’t have to pick up the phone, along with a disabled car parking space and a hot desk downstairs where I can work if the lift stops working. There are also plans in place to help me in the event of a fire.
“People really look after me here and generally care about my welfare, and this makes me feel valued and that I’m not a burden. As time goes by I know my condition will deteriorate, but I feel confident in approaching my managers should I require further support.”
Chief Executive Ron Shields said: “Dorset HealthCare believes in people and we’re about realising the strengths and talents of those with diverse abilities.We will provide the support necessary to ensure everyone can do their best at work and develop their career with us.”