In Feb 2023 Health Education England and Disabled Students Commission (DSC) released Joint Ambition. This is a short document, very worthy of your time, building on the 2019 GMC Welcome and Valued document on the ambition to foster a shared vision of an inclusive workforce where there is no stigma associated with disability.
These ambitions include:
- Contributing to better support for disabled learners and trainees to transition into employment
- Ensuring Access to Work meets the needs of learners transitioning into work in the NHS and health sector
- Promoting adjustments
- Working with disabled people and their representatives
- Advice and support
- Supporting national progress on disability employment
- Working to mitigate the effects of stigma and the reluctance of disabled people to declare their disability
The Joint Ambition paper offers evidence and data behind the statements and guidance on learner declaration with key actions on encouraging earlier declaration, raising awareness of initiatives and strategies such as Disability Confident and ensuring disabled staff are visible in their roles.
There is guidance on the themes of reasonable adjustments and on funding with appropriate equipment, resources, knowledge and training on how to access support such as Access to Work and online toolkits.
The document calls for transformative change that we can champion and lead on in our organisations and echoes the excellent talk given at the Medical Education Leaders UK Winter Meeting in 2022 by Dr Jessica Mulholland (@dizabled_doctor) when she shared insight into her poor experiences since becoming disabled as an F2 doctor.