Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service (NIBTS) - Disability Action Plan

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Introduction

The Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service has to follow the law which says that in our work we have to:

The law also says that we have to develop a disability action plan. We have to send this plan to the Equality Commission. The plan needs to say what we will do in our work to make things better for people with disabilities.

As Jim Lennon and Dr Kieran Morris – Chairman and Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service we want to make sure we do this in a way that makes a difference to people with a disability. We will put in place what is necessary to do so. This includes people, time and money. Where it is right to do so, we will include actions from this plan in the yearly plans we develop for the organisation as a whole. These are called 'corporate' or 'business' plans.

We will also put everything in place in the organisation to make sure that we do what we have to under the law. This includes making one person responsible overall for making sure we do what we say we are going to do in our plan.

We will make sure we let our staff know of what is in our plan. We will also train our staff and help them understand what they need to do.

The person in our organisation who is responsible for making sure that we do what we have promised to do is Ivan Ritchie: When you have any questions you can contact Ivan Ritchie at:

Every year we will write up what we have done of those actions we said we would take. We will send this report to the Equality Commission. We will also publish this report on this website.

After five years we will look at our plan again to see how we have done. We will also see what else we could do. Whenever we develop or look at our plan we will invite people who have a disability to help us.

Who is included in our plan?

Our plan relates to the following key areas:

It also covers people who are included in more than one of these areas. We have other equality laws that require us to promote equality of opportunity across a number of diverse categories. In our plans we need to also think about other factors such as caring responsibilities, age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity and marital status.

How we developed this plan

In starting off to develop this plan, we looked at what we did under our first plan. We then read up on what the Equality Commission said would be good to do. This was after they had looked at what other organisations have done.

All this helped us think about what else we could do to make a difference for people who have a disability.

In starting to develop this plan we looked at what we have done so far to make a difference for people who have a disability. We then read up on what the Equality Commission said would be good to do. This was after they had looked at what other organisations have done.

All this helped us think about what else we could do to make a difference.

We thought it was important to involve people who have a disability in developing our plan. So we invited disability groups to a meeting to find out what they thought about our ideas. We also asked them whether there was anything else we could do.

What we do

The Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service is part of health and social care in Northern Ireland.

We were set up on 1st June 1994.

We do things like:

Supply of Blood and Blood products

We provide hospitals and clinics with safe blood and blood products. We recruit donors and collect blood from them. We then process and test the blood which is collected.

Antenatal Service

We receive and test blood samples from Antenatal clinics throughout Northern Ireland. We test the blood sample to check the Mothers blood group and check for any "red cell antibodies". These can be harmful to an unborn baby.

Reference Laboratory

We provide a service to hospital blood banks. We investigate any problems in relation to blood transfusions. We provide a 24 hour on call service for emergencies.

Finance and Information Management and Technology

We deliver financial services and Information Management and Technology for the NIBTS. We ensure that the business has financial plans and are within budget.

Cord Blood Bank

We collect, process, test and store cord blood units.

Quality and Regulatory Affairs

We are responsible for delivering quality systems for the NIBTS. We manage information and Risks and are responsible for emergency planning.

Human Resources and Corporate Services

We deliver Human Resources and Facilities services for the NIBTS. We are responsible for health and safety and providing HR support to the organisation.

How people can be involved in our work

There are a number of ways in which people can be involved in the work of the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service

The primary way in which people can be involved in public life positions in NIBTS is via the Agency's Non-Executive Board positions. The role of such post-holders is primarily to oversee the running of the Agency. These posts are advertised publicly by the DHSSPS and appointments are made through DHSSPS.

What we have done up to now

This is what we have done already to promote positive attitudes towards disabled people and encourage the participation of disabled people in public life.

Promoting positive attitudes towards disabled people

Encourage the participation of disabled people in public life

NIBTS is a member of the Regional Personal and Public Involvement Forum. This group meets several times during the year and has representation from a range of people with disabilities.

What we are going to do

In the table below we list all the actions that we will do. We also say when we will do them.

Action Plan: What we will do to promote positive attitudes towards disabled people and encourage the participation of disabled people in public life.

Communication

Action Measure

Intended Outcome

Performance Indicator and Target

Timescale and Ownership

1. Work with disabled people to consider the diversity of images used and potential for portraying wider range of individuals when developing information materials including websites.

  • Review best practice guidance
  • Develop comprehensive guidance and checklist for authors
  • Undertake audit of information materials including website

Disabled people are portrayed in a positive manner.

Guidance for authors

Audit of information materials including website undertaken

Annual Review of Progress to ECNI

Business Services Organisation's (BSO) Equality Unit. Year 2 (31/03/2015) onwards.

Year 3 onwards NIBTS

2. Monitor, assess and improve accessibility of website.

  • Undertake assessment exercise against recognised standard

· Address issues of inaccessibility

Continue to meet best practice and guidance

Website accessibility of recognised standard.

Under the Web Accessibility Initiative the NIBTS web site is category 2 compliant.

Assessment exercise outcome report via ICT

NIBTS IT Department Year 3 ending 31/03/2016

3. Put in place contractual arrangements for the production of materials in alternative formats.

  • Undertake a scoping exercise by type of format based on current and best practice in UK
  • Where appropriate undertake tender exercise and put contracts in place

Accessible formats are more readily available.

Arrangements are in place to support staff in procuring materials in alternative formats.

Contracts in place where appropriate

BSO Equality Unit. Year 3 ending 31/03/2016

4. Adopt Accessible Information policy and guidance.

Improved accessibility of information.

Common wording relating to alternative formats for inclusion in documents. Protocol on how to deal with requests for alternative formats.

NIBTS. Year 2.


Awareness Raising and Training

Action Measure

Intended Outcome

Performance Indicator and Target

Timescale and Ownership

5. Encourage staff to declare that they have a disability or care for a person with a disability, through awareness raising andprovide guidance to staff on the importance of monitoring.

More accurate data in place. Greater number of staff feel comfortable declaring they have a disability.

Awareness raising measure delivered. Data gathered through the Human Resources, Payroll, Travel Substance System.

Increase in completion of disability monitoring information by staff. Currently 61%.

NIBTS HR. Year 2 ending 31/03/2015.

6. Raise awareness of specific barriers faced by people with disabilities including through linking in with National Awareness Days or Weeks (such as Mind your Health Day).

Increased staff awareness of the range of disabilities and needs.

2 annual Awareness Days profiled.

>50% of staff participating in the evaluation indicate that they know more about people living with disabilities as a result of the awareness days

Year 1 onwards NIBTS HR

BSO Equality Unit Year 3 ending 31/03/2016.

7. In collaboration with people with a disability review current guidance on support for staff.

Staff with a disability are supported and staff are empowered to provide support.

Guidance in place for staff with a disability on what support is available. Guidance promoted via intranet, screensaver and emails.

NIBTS HR. Year 3 ending 31/03/2016.

8. In collaboration with disabled people design, deliver and evaluate training for staff and Board members on disability equality and disability legislation.

Increased staff / Board member awareness of range of disabilities, needs and disability legislation

70% of staff and Board/Council Members have successfully completed the disability module of Discovering Diversity

90% of staff and Board Members trained within 1 year.

NIBTS. Year 2 (31/03/2015) onwards.

NIBTS Year 3 onwards

9. Raise staff awareness of the communication needs of people who are deaf or hard of hearing by providing training sessions in house

· Source training provider

· Arrange training sessions

· Encourage staff to attend

Increased staff awareness on how to communicate with people who are deaf or hard of hearing

Hold 2 deaf awareness sessions within NIBTS

At least 10% of staff awareness improved on how to communicate with people who are deaf or hard of hearing

NIBTS Donor Services & HR Department, Year 3 ending 31/03/2016


Getting people involved in our work, Participation and Engagement

Action Measure

Intended Outcome

Performance Indicator and Target

Timescale and Ownership

10. Develop standards and guidance for the involvement of people with a disability and their carers in relation to services.

Greater accessibility and involvement for people, (adults and children where relevant) with disabilities. Barriers are removed.

Checklist in place and in use on involving people with a disability in meetings including payments of expenses.

NIBTS Donor Services Year 3 ending 31/03/2016.

11. Identify, provide and promote opportunities for more engagement for people with a disability in key work areas.

Better engagement by people with a disability (adults and children where relevant) in key areas.

Annual Review of progress to ECNI.

NIBTS Year 1(31/03/2014) onwards.

12. Nominate a champion at senior level.

Evidence of leadership at senior level.

Champion identified.

CE. Year 1 ending 31/03/2014.

13. Involve disabled people in delivery and review of this plan.

Better engagement by people with a disability (adults and children where relevant).

Feedback forms from engagement (and roundtable sessions, where appropriate)

BSO Equality Unit. Year 5.

14. Explore scope and interest in establishment of an HSC-wide forum of staff on disability:

· Engage with HSC Trusts to establish current practice

· Develop regional approach to complement current structures

· Engage with staff

· Put forum in place and promote to staff

Better involvement of staff with a disability decision-making

Options Paper

HR Directors Forum minutes

Staff Survey Responses

Forum Terms of Reference

NIBTS / BSO Equality Unit – Year 2 onwards

15. Encourage participation of people with disabilities in the NIBTS communities partnership user forum:

· Develop promotional material in accessible formats

· distribute through disability organisations and on the NIBTS website

Better engagement and involvement of people with a disability within the communities partnership user forum

Increase in the participation of people with a disability within the NIBTS community partnership user forum

NIBTS DS Department, Year 3 31/03/2016


Recruitment and Retention

Action Measure

Intended Outcome

Performance Indicator and Target

Timescale and Ownership

16. Explore scope for Identifying and promoting advocate or specialist within workforce with role to support and advise staff on disability issues.

  • Review best practice
  • Engage with staff
  • Identify advocate or specialist

Improved support for staff.

Scoping Report

Annual Review of Progress to ECNI

Staff feedback

BSO Equality Unit, Year 2 ending 31/05/2015

17. Consider offering one week work experience opportunities for young adults and older adults with disabilities.

  • Review best practice
  • Engage with disability organisations
  • Produce guidance
  • Identify work experience opportunities

Experience of people with a disability in the workplace is meaningful and any need for additional support is identified at an early stage

One work experience opportunities provided per year.

Guidance in place

Pilot work experience opportunity within the organisation and report to ECNI

NIBTS HR / BSO HR. Year 2 onwards

18.Encourage disabled people to apply for employment opportunities and remain in the workforce (for example,and issue job adverts to local disability organisations and more flexible working arrangements and review job descriptions)

Awareness raising of disability organisations of existence of posts within NIBTS.

A greater number of people with a disability apply.

Evidence to encourage people to apply for employment opportunities.

Increase in disability marked on equal opportunities monitoring forms and HRPTS

NIBTS HR. Year 3 ending - 31/03/2016