UCL Institute of Health Informatics


Our Priorities

The Institute has implemented a number of new initiatives with the aim of improving working conditions and creating a working environment that supports all staff equally.

We are implementing priorities and initiatives outlined in our 5-year action plan across five key priority areas:

  1. Support for students
  2. Support for staff at key career transition points
  3. Recruitment, promotion and retention of female staff and students
  4. Career breaks, workload and flexible working
  5. Culture, communication and departmental organisation

Support for students

Launch mentoring scheme for PhD studentsIHI - Plan to rollout a peer to peer formal mentoring programme
Workshop to identify priority issues for PhD students – feedback will be used to improve mentoring scheme

Support for staff at key career transition point

Develop and assess mentoring scheme for staffRaise awareness of mentoring opportunities All IHI staff and students to take part in short online mentoring training. Participation will be mandated for new starters and monitored by IHI administrators
Assess the numbers and proportion of staff at IHI currently receiving mentoring via a survey
Recruit mentors and mentees
Email alert system for Early Career ResearchersDevelop a mailing list of all ECR at IHI. Link the mailing list with existing ECR mailing lists from IEHC. An ECR mailing list advertising events of interest to ECRs to be made available to all people within the Institute who consider themselves to be ECRs. PhD students and staff employed as RAs have been formally approached and asked to extend the invitation to others who might be interested. Information about lists are included in inductions for new ECR starters.

Recruitment, promotion and retention of female staff and students

Require practice of exit interviewsCollate numbers of exit interviews carried out on an annual basis (in January of each year). Line managers reminded of requirement 3 months before departure. Data reviewed annually by EDI
Ensure gender representation on recruitment panelsAudit interview panels held in IHI since August 2014
Develop a database of trained interviewers to include gender; configure DB to highlight when an interviewer reaches a maximum of 4 panels per annum (or pro rata equivalent for part-time staff).
Require all staff to attend recruitment training as per UCL expectations.
Encourage planning for promotionArrange career development training for women (presentation skills, confident networking, and senior promotion workshops, where appropriate)
Require line managers to raise promotion at appraisal meetings and record this has taken place.Cover sheet on appraisal documentation requiring appraiser/appraise to confirm (based on cover sheet provided by IEHC)

Career breaks, workload and flexible working

Support maternity and paternity leave, flexible return to work and flexible working after parental leaveConduct survey of maternity and paternity to review baseline situation at IHI (as part of Swan questionnaire) Number of staff taking maternity/paternity leave and measure satisfaction with support provided to inform setting targets for improvement. During the 12 month period covered by the annual survey one individual (2% of respondents) reported taking parental leave. Therefore in future we will survey the number of people with parental and/or other caring responsibilities and will conduct an annual focus group to include a broader constituency of parents and carers to assess what support they receive and what could be improved

Ensure all managers are confident that they are up to date with training on key HR issues around:

Raise awareness of UCL policies around maternity, shared parental, paternity and adoption leave, keeping in touch days, carers leave and flexible working by: a) sending an annual IHI all staff email b) adding a section to the IHI webpage with summaries of and links to the policies c) offering a meeting with HR to anyone at IHI going on carer/parental leave Communication about the benefits available to staff at UCL (e.g. pension, childcare vouchers, Employee Assistance Scheme) is sufficient
Assess requests for paternity and flexible workingCollect data on requests for paternity and flexible working and outcomes of requests to assess numbers, data quality and gender breakdown.

Culture, communication and departmental organisation

Adhere to core working hours of 10-4 and related issuesEnsure local practice fits policy on core working hours and related issues (e.g., holding meetings on different days so part-time staff can attend). Develop a List of core meetings at the Institute and audit reports of meetings held outside core hours without appropriate prior discussion.
Disseminate information on family-orientated support opportunities available to staff and studentsTo create a web page aimed at IHI parents and carers with easy access to UCL policy and local support arrangements. To include items such as advice on choosing nurseries/UCL nursery/childcare vouchers/etc. To be included in induction material.
Promote Athena SWAN Initiative at IHIDevelop Athena SWAN web page to promote mission across the Institute, and current and future plans of the SAT, including application and action plan.
Include SAT membership flyers in the IHI induction pack. Display information about Athena SWAN around the Institute
Provide Unconscious Bias TrainingInclude SWAN and related activities such as mentoring, staff promotion, early career forum as a standing agenda item on termly IHI meeting
Incorporate new UCL online bias training in to staff induction