Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust comprises two of London’s largest and best-known teaching hospitals – Guy’s Hospital and St Thomas’ Hospital. A diverse workforce totalling 13,500 clinical, administrative and ancillary staff is spread across multiple sites.
In a large organization with such a diverse workforce there’s inevitably a range of literacy challenges to contend with, including employees with dyslexia and staff from outside the UK who speak English as a second language. A key goal for the Trust was to foster greater equality and inclusion for staff with literacy challenges who need extra help with day-to-day tasks like writing documents and reading online materials.
Having experimented in the past with other dyslexia based support software, Trust management also needed an easy-to-implement solution with the simplicity of a single site-wide license that makes support available to every employee who needs it.
“We’d been working with the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) and doing a lot of research about how we can support our staff with dyslexia”, explains Manal Sadik, Service Manager for Language and Accessible support and Equality Advisor at the Trust. “Read&Write from Texthelp was the software that kept coming up in our discussions; it was recommended to us by the BDA.”
Read&Write is freely available to every Trust employee, working at all levels and in every area at both hospitals. Installation is quick and easy on any desktop or laptop computer, for any member of staff who wants it. There is no need for time-consuming sign-off from a supervising manager.
The Trust has been active in engaging staff and raising awareness of Read&Write, holding promotional ‘roadshows’ in main hospital reception areas. Training on the software is provided with how-to videos on the staff intranet. Employees are also regularly informed of the availability of Read&Write and the support it offers, via internal newsletters and bulletins. It’s also showcased prominently in induction sessions for new staff joining the Trust. “It’s constantly on the agenda”, says Manal.
“Read&Write works on a number of levels. Number one, it’s saying we are aware within our organisation that there are staff who require support. It also shows that we’re willing to invest in the best support that’s available. We want everyone to come in and feel positive and be able to carry out their role to the best of their abilities. All of us need support to be able to do that: as an organisation it demonstrates that we really do invest in our staff and care about their wellbeing. I think Read&Write benefits the Trust hugely.”
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