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A year ago, we ran a stream of workshops at the Q community event that focused on the role improvement can play in achieving an equitable, health and care system. The discussions were enlightening and broad. They showcased how members are using improvement approaches to achieve equity and how far we all needed to go to better support and prioritise equity through our work.

We want the confidence to understand and discuss issues of inequity openly and honestly

We know much activity is continuing among members and in the wider health and care sector – both to build on existing mechanisms for increasing inclusion, and to think through what more we can do in improvement to actively prioritise equity, diversity and inclusion.

We’ve been doing our own work in the Q team too. This blog updates you on what we’re doing and why.

What are we doing?

Our goal is to ensure that Q is a diverse, inclusive and equitable community, and that equity is a core part of our mission to achieving sustainable improvements in health and care.

Our approach starts with us – the Q team. We want the confidence to understand and discuss issues of inequity openly and honestly. And we want the right team culture and collective language to be able to act together.

Through a series of facilitated conversations, we’re exploring topics such as positionality and power. These are spaces where we can ‘practice’ conversations, and listen and learn on these topics.

Alongside these team sessions, there is additional support for team members to come together in small groups or one-to-one with facilitators to grapple with what they’re hearing, challenges they’re coming up against or ways this is making them think and feel.

Together, these activities give us dedicated space and time to challenge and question ourselves and each other.

Why are we focusing here?

There is a tendency that we’ve fought against purposefully in this work. It could almost have been easier to jump into action, spotting opportunities to make tweaks or changes in our offers, services or approaches that appear to respond to challenges of inequity. But would we have made the right choices? Would we have seen the underlying causes and challenges? Would we have been equipped to discuss what and how we do this in the team?

We want to create the foundations of a team that is equipped to look hard not only at what we deliver, but how we do that

Instead, we’re going slow to go fast – or, at least, faster. We want to create the foundations of a team that is equipped to look hard not only at what we deliver, but how we do that; to recognise the voices not in the room and consider the knottier subjects or complex areas where we need change; to acknowledge the different starting points we’re all coming from and build a shared understanding of the collective goal.

To really support and enable the Q community to exist in a diverse, inclusive and equitable way, we’re starting from the basis that these considerations need to be embedded across our work, not treated as a project.

What will this mean for our work?

What exactly we’ll do next remains to be seen. From a starting point where we thought we’d create roadmaps and plans very quickly, we’ve stepped back to have emergent conversations that can take us where we collectively need to go.

This process will then build our confidence to start to make changes. We expect there to be some smaller actions, and some bigger changes we uncover and will commit to making over time.

We’ll open up ways for community members to contribute and share, to help shape what is needed. The starting point for this is the member survey – out now, so please take the time before Monday 6 December to respond to help us understand and improve the community. In the survey we’re collecting a small amount of equality and diversity data to help us develop our understanding of member experience.

We’ll build on this next year and will keep sharing back as we learn and develop our approach further.

What are your teams doing?

Does this sound like what you’re doing in your teams or projects to improve equity, diversity and inclusion? Or are you taking a different approach?

If you’ve got an experience that you think we can all learn from, send us an email, comment below, or contribute a blog to share your thoughts with the community.

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