Thank you for your interest in the DCHS Disability and Long-Term Condition staff network.  Our network is for colleagues who have, colleagues who live with someone who has and colleagues who support other colleagues with a disability or a long term condition. 

Our priorities for next 12 months (2022-23)

  • Raising the profile for the network
  • Encouraging colleagues to say they have a disability or long-term condition
  • Supporting leaders to support colleagues with disabilities or long-term conditions more effectively.

Why are staff support networks so important? 

DCHS is committed to shaping it's culture and behaviours to ensure we are fair, diverse and inclusive. A key way we do this is through our staff networks, who offer support and guidance for staff, a chance to network with like-minded colleagues and increase equality issues through allyship. 

The executive team also looks to the groups to support the aims of the Trust, as well as the groups feeding into the executive team where support may be needed to facilitate change.

How can you get involved and support your network?

All (and any) time, support and contributions, are very much appreciated! We know everyone is very busy, and that getting to every meeting may not be possible. We encourage people to attend as many meetings as they can, and ideally to get involved with one breakaway project (you’ll hear more about these at the meetings or on emails). We’ve found that  this level of involvement, if possible, really helps people feel connected and be part of the network. However, you’ll know what’s possible for you.

  • As a member of the network, you will be added to a circulation list so we can keep in touch.
  • We also have a webpage here and we use social media, @DCHS_Disability

Even if you are unable to attend meetings frequently, please follow us to help keep the network active and successfully engaged via these alternative communication channels.

Support and friendship

Networks offer vital support and friendship to colleagues therefore it is important that meetings are safe spaces, your contribution will be valued, and confidentiality will be respected. We understand everyone has different skills and interests and how each person contributes will differ.  Please let the chair know how best to support you.

Zero tolerance

The NHS operates a 'zero tolerance' attitude to all forms of abuse therefore such behaviour or the use of inappropriate words causing distress and/or constituting harassment will not be tolerated and could lead to prosecution.

Be aware that your social media presence is a reflection of the DCHS values, therefore care should be taken to use social media in a professional manner, please refer to the HRP47 General Code of Conduct and Social Media for full details.

Freedom to Speak Up

DCHS believe in an open and honest culture and is committed to creating and supporting a culture where members of staff are encouraged and empowered to raise concerns without fear of recrimination or victimisation in any way.

Tel: 07795 293707
E: DCHST.raisingconcerns@nhs.net

Meeting overview

·       Business: 4 times per year. There maybe work outside of these meeting for small task and finish groups

·       Peer support only: Peer support will be 4 times a year.


There are a number of teams who can offer support in DCHS.



Colleague Condition Link
Catherine Coleman Hearing loss/deafness  Case study
Sam Pessoll Arthritis  Case study
Chrissy Fairey Multiple fractures and spinal injury, ME, secondary progressive MS
Sarah Martin  Leadership, disability and long term conditions  Video