Do you ask the question?

Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group, The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust and Shropshire Council have all committed to focusing on equality and diversity for their staff, to improve the patient experience. By asking one simple question, nurses, doctors and reception staff could help make a difference to patients.

To help raise awareness of the importance of equality and diversity, a special video led by local patients has been created. The video highlights a patient story, where a patient struggles to access the support and information they need. If members of staff had asked one simple question - do you understand? Or does this information make sense? the patient potentially would have felt less frustrated, would know how to manage their condition better and would feel confident in accessing services.

As part of this focus on equality and diversity, staff are asked to take a few moments to think of what simple question would help their patient. Have you checked whether your patient has understood the information given to them, this could be because they have difficulty understanding due to dyslexia or perhaps English is not their first language. Have you asked a patient going through gender dysphoria whether they would like to be called by a male or female pronoun i.e. Miss, Mrs or Mr? Have you considered cultural issues about mealtimes and privacy for praying?

Across the local health system, staff work hard to ensure patients have access to the right treatment and support. But sometimes, it is the little things that can make a big difference.

Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group was awarded £10,000 to promote equality and diversity locally. Working with patients and local NHS staff the powerful message “do you ask the question?” was created and supported by a short accessible film.

At a special event being held on 17 May, Chief Officers from all the organisations, patients, voluntary sector organisations and staff are being shown the video for the first time.

Patients can also help promote this campaign, by telling staff if there was one question that could have made their experience better. You have the right to be treated fairly, equitably and with dignity and respect. If this does not happen please mention it to that member of staff or phone our Patient Advice and Liaison Services. Your experience can help us to improve.

Find out more at twitter on @do_you_ask