Our aim is to ensure that all of our services are accessible, appropriate and sensitive to the needs of the whole community and that we have a workforce representative at all levels of the population we serve, which is managed fairly and equitably. We are committed to eliminating discrimination and ensuring equality in care, and continue to embed our equality and diversity values into our policies, procedures and everyday practice.
What does equality and diversity mean to us?
Equality means that we recognise that different people have different needs, which need all need to be accommodated to the same high standards. Our equality values are embedded in:
- Healthcare provision: access to services are sensitive to individual needs, irrespective of age, disability, ethnic origin, gender, marital status, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, and social background;
- Employment, promotion, training, and development: opportunities are open to all on an equal basis;
- Service developments: all decisions take into account the needs of the community;
- Behaviours: patients, staff, volunteers and all other service users and providers are treated with dignity and respect.
Diversity is about creating a culture and developing practices that recognise, respect and value differences for the benefit of the organisation and the individual.
The Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act protects people from discrimination, both in in the workplace and in wider society. All public sector organisations are required to ensure equal access to employment and services, regardless of the protected characteristics. These are:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
Workforce Race Equality Standard
The Workforce Race Equality Standard requires organisations to demonstrate progress against a number of indicators specifically related to the experience of black and minority ethnic (BME) staff.
The standard has been introduced in order to address inequalities related to BME staff, their representation in the workforce and their experience. The Trust’s Action Plan (contained in the document below) supports this.
Workforce Disability Equality Standard
The NHS Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) is designed to improve workplace experience and career opportunities for Disabled people working, or seeking employment, in the National Health Service (NHS). The Trust action plan supports this. The WDES follows the NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) as an enabler of change.
Equality Delivery System 2
The Equality Delivery System (EDS2) aims to help local NHS organisations:
- Improve the services they provide for their local communities;
- Improve the experiences of people using the services;
- Consider reducing health inequalities in their locality; and
- Provide better working environments, free of discrimination, for those who work in the NHS.
At the heart of EDS2 is a set of outcomes covering patient care, access and experience, working environments and leadership. NHS commissioners may analyse their performance against these outcomes for each group afforded protection under the Equality Act 2010, as well as Inclusion Health groups (i.e. refugees, asylum seekers, homeless, and sex industry workers). Ideally this should be done in discussion with local stakeholders including patients, communities and staff, and using the best available evidence.
As a result of this analysis, organisations with local stakeholders are able to select their equality priorities. This analysis can go a long way to providing the information required by law to demonstrate compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty.
Further information on EDS2 can be found on the NHS England website.
Accessible Information Standard
The Accessible Information Standard tells organisations how they should ensure that disabled patients receive information in formats that they can understand and that they receive appropriate support to help them to communicate.
It directs and defines a specific, consistent approach to identifying, recording, flagging, sharing and meeting the information and communication support needs of patients, service users, carers and parents, where those needs relate to a disability, impairment or sensory loss.
The aim of the Standard is to establish a framework and set a clear direction such that patients and service users (and, where appropriate, carers and parents) who have information or communication needs relating to a disability, impairment or sensory loss receive:
- Accessible information (information which is able to be read or received and understood by the individual or group for which it is intended); and
- Communication support (support which is needed to enable effective, accurate dialogue between a professional and a service user to take place) such that they are not put ‘at a substantial disadvantage…in comparison with persons who are not disabled’ when accessing NHS or adult social services.