BAPIO and the Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (BHNHSFT) signed an MOU during a jointly organised conference which was held on 19 May 2023 at King’s House in Bedford. The theme of the conference was “Equality and Inclusion at the Workplace”. The conference brought together esteemed dignitaries and delegates from various medical backgrounds and addressed pertinent issues related to diversity, equality, and inclusivity in healthcare settings. At the end of the conference, BAPIO and BHNHSFT also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of cooperation, collaboration, and support for EDI, recruitment, and people management.
The conference commenced with a warm welcome from Mr. Sanjiv Manjure and Dr. Imtiaz Shaikh, Chairs of BAPIO BHNHSFT Units, and was inaugurated by Dr. Ramesh Mehta, BAPIO President. In his opening speech, Dr. Mehta emphasized the importance of promoting equality and inclusion, not only for healthcare professionals but also for patients, as it leads to better healthcare outcomes and a more cohesive society. Later in the conference, Dr. Manjure presented the Workplace Survey of Luton & Bedford doctors. The survey revealed that Bullying and Harassment was significant issue in both the Luton and Bedford Hospitals. The panel discussion with the Chief Executive of the Trust agreed that steps need to be taken to promote dignity at work.
The speakers included Mr David Carter, CEO of BHNHSFT, Ms. Cathy Jones, Deputy CEO, Mr Paul Tisi, the Medical Director, Ms. Angela Doak, Director HR, Liz Lees, Chief Nurse, Dr. James Ramsay, Deputy Medical Director, and Fiona MacDonald, Director of Workforce, indicating the keen interest of the BHNHSFT management. Their participation further underlined the significance of the conference and highlighted the collective efforts to promote equality and inclusion in the healthcare profession.
Throughout the day, the conference witnessed engaging panel discussions, presentations, and workshops, where participants actively shared their experiences and ideas. The discussions centred around strategies to address workplace discrimination, promote cultural sensitivity, and create an environment that embraces diversity.
Following the conference, the MOU was signed by Mr David Carter the CEO of BHNHSFT, and Dr Ramesh Mehta the BAPIO President. Both expressed commitment to working towards a successful EDI agenda and raising staff morale.
Dignitaries and delegates were treated to a delightful dinner. Dr. Dipankar Chattopadhyay and Dr. Shobhit Verma extended warm greetings to everyone. The evening witnessed an array of cultural performances, including a classical dance performance by students from Nritham Academy, soulful singing by Rajesh Shegunshi and his team, and an energetic DJ session, creating an atmosphere of celebration and camaraderie.
The dinner was graced by the presence of Tom Wooton, the Mayor of Bedford, and Mohammad Yasin, Member of Parliament for Bedford, who expressed their support for the cause and commended the collaborative efforts of BAPIO and BHNHSFT in organising such an important event.