To celebrate Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week 2021 (10-14 May) we are highlighting different Inspirational Leadership Stories to inspire colleagues across the Northamptonshire health and care system. Each day we will meet a different inspirational leader to find out a bit more about them and how their stories connect with the daily themes of #EQW2021.

Tuesday 11 May – Being Recognised and Rewarded
Dr Annette Greenwood, St Andrew’s Healthcare

Dr Annette Greenwood, Trauma Lead at St Andrew’s Healthcare, was presented with the Rose of Northamptonshire award in April 2021 for her work supporting staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Annette provides confidential trauma support for St Andrew’s Healthcare staff who have been affected by trauma, such as bereavement of a member of staff, violence or aggressive incidents at work. She has significant experience: previously she worked for the NHS as a consultant on a Neonatal unit and several well-known cases including Beverley Allitt, the Alder Hey organs scandal and the Madeline McCann case.

Due to the complex nature of patients’ mental health, St Andrew’s staff are sometimes victims of physical, racial or verbal abuse. This is why Annette and her team are so vital, as they offer support to help staff process the trauma they have experienced and return to work. Sometimes her work helps staff who have lost people they were close.

Annette explained: “Over the past year, I have helped a large number of staff from across our Charity, including people from Ethnic Minority communities – and in particular colleagues from the African British and Caribbean community. When English is not your first language, it can sometimes be difficult to understand what support is available to you. From my perspective, at St Andrew’s there is lots on offer – but it’s hard to ensure that everyone knows what is available and how to access it.

“Last year I supported staff after a racist incident on one of our wards. I helped the individuals affected to access more than just psychological support; I also helped with practical things such as arranging medical treatment and helping staff to access support from the hardship funds.

“I see my role as quite humanitarian. If a member of staff from an Ethnic minority community is injured at work, it is often more difficult for them. For example, an injury may mean a period of not being able to work – this can have a knock on effect; what if that staff member usually sends money home? Does it mean their families aren’t able to eat, or educate their children? There can be a massive impact on a large number of people from this one incident. Although we have a zero tolerance approach to racism at St Andrew’s, due to the severity of our patients’ conditions, incidents do sometimes occur. Staff do not always want to mention if an incident is racially charged, as they do not want to cause problems – we work hard to reassure our staff that by speaking out they are not causing problems, but instead taking an important step forward in fixing the problems they experience.

“We work tirelessly to ensure everyone feels they can have a voice, and help us to make changes. At St Andrew’s we are like a family. If you work for us, you can ask us for help as a member of our family.”