Equality, diversity and inclusion

We believe that everyone has the right to be their truest selves whilst working at our Trust. Promoting equality, diversity and inclusion is at the heart of our values. We aim to employ a workforce that is as representative as possible of our local population.

We are committed to taking an anti-discrimination approach in every aspect of our work, providing a workplace where all our patients and colleagues feel a true sense of belonging and above all are safe and protected from the harm caused by racism, homophobia, biphobia or transphobia.

We expect our staff to be upstanding bystanders and to challenge discrimination. For we can only be a truly anti-discrimination organisation if everyone feels empowered to act.

We believe as a public sector organisation we have an obligation to have recruitment, training, promotion, other formal employment policies, and procedures that are sensitive to these differences. We think this makes us better able to treat our patients as well as a better place to work.

Our vision

Our vision applies to staff, patients, and their families, is to be effortlessly inclusive.

To achieve this, we aim to:

  • treat everyone with respect and dignity at all times
  • challenge discriminatory behaviour and practice
  • recognise and embrace diversity
  • ensure equal and easy access to services
  • ensure equal access to employment and development opportunities
  • consult and engage with staff, patients, and their families to ensure that the services and the facilities of the Trust meet their needs

Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 (the Act) replaces previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act. The Act’s aim is to simplify the law, remove inconsistencies and make it easier for people to understand and comply with, as well as strengthening the law to help tackle discrimination and inequality.

The majority of the Act came into force on 1 October 2010 and the public sector equality duty came into force on 5 April 2011. The equality duty ensures that all public bodies play their part in making society fairer by tackling discrimination and providing equality of opportunity for all.

The equality duty is a duty on public bodies and others carrying out public functions. It ensures public bodies consider the needs of all individuals in their day-to-day work-in shaping policy, delivering services, and in relation to their own employees.

The new equality duty covers the following protected characteristics:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race, which includes ethnic or national origins, colour, or nationality
  • religion or belief (this includes lack of belief)
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

The equality duty has 3 aims. It requires public bodies to have due regard to the need to:

  1. Eliminate unlawful discrimination-harassment, victimisation, and any other conduct prohibited by the Act.
  2. Advance equality of opportunity between people who share protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
  3. Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.

As part of the Act, public sector organisations must publish evidence to confirm they are meeting the 3 aims highlighted above.

Equality delivery system

The evidence presented by the Trust has been collated as part of the implementation of the Department of Health’s equality delivery system.

The system is designed as a tool to be used to help all staff and NHS organisations understand how equality can drive improvements and strengthen the accountability of services to patients and the public. It will help ensure that everyone, patients, the public, and staff, have a voice in how organisations are performing and where they should improve.

The system encourages Trusts to work with their patients, staff, and stakeholders to gather and analyse information on equality; set equality objectives, and make the changes required to become better employers and improve the way frontline health services deliver good health outcomes for the protected groups who experience the greatest inequalities.

We use the system framework to support us in developing our inclusion objectives which are monitored and reviewed via relevant Board level committees. Progress is reported to our Board via the equality and diversity annual report.

Equality impact assessments

We use equality impact assessments to help us look at what impact an existing or proposed policy, procedure, practice, or service is likely to have on different groups of people. They aim to eliminate discrimination and improve equality.

Equality impact assessments assess several important areas, including:

  • age,
  • race and ethnicity
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
  • groups who face health inequalities