While the NHS provides universal access to healthcare, the reality is that getting the right care and living a healthy life is not easy for everyone.

As a large organisation, anchored in the local community, we have an opportunity to support some of the most disadvantaged people in Swindon who may need additional help to access the same healthcare, career opportunities and life chances.

Being a trusted and respected local employer, purchaser and landowner means we can make a difference.

We are reaching out, making connections and working together with local health, social and voluntary organisations and smaller community groups, to improve the experiences of some of the most disadvantaged members of our community.

Where are we making a difference?

As an employer

As one of Swindon’s biggest employers, we are creating opportunities for quality employment, apprenticeships and a healthy workplace, while ensuring that these opportunities are accessible to all.

We are focusing on access to employment, through building strong partnerships with schools, colleges and alternative education providers in some of the most deprived areas of Swindon.

Career experts from our Academy attend assemblies and career clinics, promoting the diverse career opportunities and routes into the NHS and support with application processes.

We have Enterprise Advisers attached to each school, college and alternative education provider, providing a key contact and access to information, advice and networks for every student.

As a proud partner of Project Search with New College Swindon, we support students with disabilities to gain the skills and experience needed to prepare them for employment.

We are also a member of the NHS Cadets youth volunteering programme which provides 14-16-year-olds from under-represented communities opportunities to explore voluntary work and careers within the NHS.

We regularly attend disability confident Job Fairs to support people with disabilities to enter the work environment.

Through service delivery

We are working with different community groups to better understand the barriers to accessing healthcare and how we can ensure our services reach and benefit everyone.

As a proud partner of the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check programme, we are inviting more than 23,000 past and current smokers, to take part in lung health checks. With one of the highest mortality rates for lung cancer in England, Swindon is one of 43 places in the country to introduce the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check programme which aims to identify signs of cancer at an early stage when it is more treatable, ultimately saving move lives.

Our Outpatient Welcome and Liaison Service has supported almost 200 patients to attend hospital appointments in the last year. Patients of all ages with learning disabilities, dementia, or anxiety, who otherwise may not have attended, are accompanied by a volunteer, helping to make the hospital experience more positive.

Supporting the health and wellbeing of staff is a priority, and we have been awarded the prestigious Time to Test employer certificate from Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust for our staff cervical cancer screening clinic which makes it easier for staff to find the time to test.

Other ways are making a difference

We can also make a difference through our purchasing, supporting local businesses and social enterprises and placing a higher value on social responsibility when designing tenders. We are also exploring opportunities to use our land and buildings to support local communities.