Our Community Promise

Our Community Promise, an international award-winning programme, launched in June 2021, is the trust’s pledge to focus on all the ways it can improve people’s lives, pushing the boundaries of what an NHS trust can be by focusing on how we can have an even larger impact for everyone who lives and works in the area and wider region.

Health inequalities have long been a concern but the pandemic has been a stark reminder of the challenges which exist in our communities. This is why the Promise is based on six key pillars, which relate to the wider factors that fuel health inequalities – poverty, employment, education, economy, environment, wellbeing. The work of our Health Inequalities Programme Board, chaired by leading public health expert Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard, will provide valuable insight and guidance on this front too.

Healthcare is the essence of what we do, with a focus on constantly working to develop in relation to innovation and improving patient and staff experience, but we are also a major employer, a major buyer and user of products and services, and we are very conscious of our carbon footprint and our responsibility to look after our precious environment.

Our efforts so far have been recognised with a string of national and international CSR (corporate and social responsibility) awards, but we know there is much more to do.

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Key achievements and ongoing projects

  • Thousands of household, personal care and food products have been donated to poverty networks
  • Ongoing promotion of Northumberland Community Bank
  • Joined Northumberland County Council’s poverty working group, with targeted work taking place in Ashington area
  • Fleet Home Electronics partnership enables staff an affordable route to purchase goods, avoiding high-interest lenders

  • 450 virtual work experience placements agreed via Springpod and 172 on-site placements
  • Two widening participation coordinators have been recruited to engage with schools, colleges and other education institutions to widen access to careers and job opportunities in health and care - https://tinyurl.com/mfx9x82e
  • Partnership with Project Choice has resulted in work experience placements being offering to cohorts of young people with additional support needs – https://youtu.be/cqntBUCPxp4
  • Links with looked-after children leads at both local authorities

  • Targeted work is taking place to identify and recruit apprentices from underrepresented groups, including those from marginalised communities, to boost the number of apprentices coming from these backgrounds to 30% over the next three years
  • The trust is leading on the ‘mini scrubs’ project to promote health and care careers to primary school children, with packs provided to all in Northumberland, North Tyneside, Newcastle and Gateshead - https://vimeo.com/726942134/1503ad2796
  • The Manufacturing and Innovation Hub continues to develop and expand, creating economic opportunities, jobs and apprenticeships - https://www.pwc.co.uk/government-public-sector/good-growth/assets/pdf/good-growth-2022.pdf (page 36)

  • A CSR (corporate and social responsibility) procurement officer has been recruited to take responsibility for our drive to buy more products and services locally
  • A Social Value in Procurement working group has been set up to develop how we embed the Community Promise values into procurement work
  • Myth-busting sessions are being created to support sole traders and small businesses to get on to supplier frameworks
  • Northumbria Marketplace events being planned to act as meet the buyer/seller events

  • A major project to decarbonise North Tyneside General Hospital is underway. The up-to-£22million scheme should reduce the site’s emissions by 80% over a 15-year period - https://tinyurl.com/2jkars98
  • We have installed a machine which melts down facemasks, curtains, drapes and wraps, all of which are made from single-use polypropylene plastics. The blocks created can then be used to make new products - https://tinyurl.com/h4ufmmtb
  • Range of ongoing work to reduce emissions in clinical settings, for example, in theatres and endoscopy

  • Developed partnership with Cramlington Town Council to support arts and other initiatives at the Northumbria hospital site
  • A wellbeing coordinator is to be recruited to work across the trust to manage gym and wellbeing sites plus encourage staff to participate in physical activities
  • Cross-working with teams leading on initiatives such as staff wellbeing and the Active Hospitals pilot
  • Working with public health colleagues in trust and both local authorities to share good practice and develop joint projects