Equality and Diversity
Our Trust is committed to delivering fully inclusive mental health and learning disabilities services for the community we serve. We are also fully committed to ensuring our staff work in an environment that is free from discrimination. Equality and diversity is central to our values and the provision of our services.
As part of the NHS we are a public sector organisation with a statutory duty to ensure equality, diversity and human rights are embedded in everything we do, as required by the Equality Act 2010, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the NHS Constitution.
The Equality Act 2010 replaced all previous equalities legislation and introduced a general public sector equality duty which all public bodies, including the NHS, have to meet. The general duty has three aims and requires public bodies to have due regard to the need to:
- eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by The Equality Act 2010
- advance equality of opportunity between people from different groups
- foster good relations between people from different groups. This involves tackling prejudice and promoting understanding between people from different groups
The Equality Act 2010 outlaws acts of discrimination against the following nine protected characteristics:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
The Human Rights Act 1998 was introduced to ensure people are treated with dignity and respect. Respect for the rights of individuals or groups is fundamental to their quality of life. The Human Rights Act has at its core the principles of FREDA – Fairness, Respect, Equality, Dignity and Autonomy. We believe that these principles are fundamental to the NHS in general and to our Trust specifically.
From 2015 NHS England introduced the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES). Research has shown that people from a Black or Minority Ethnic (BME) background have a worse experience of working in the NHS than white people. From this research, a series of 9 metrics have been designed to highlight any gaps between the experiences of staff from and BME background and those of white staff. By understanding the reasons for these gaps we will make progress in tackling discrimination where it exists in all its forms, promoting and encouraging a fully inclusive workforce which, in turn, will positively impact upon patient care.
Alongside the WRES, a revised version of the Equality Delivery System, known as EDS2, has been mandated for all NHS organisations in England. EDS2 has been designed with the intention of being a toolkit to support the identification, implementation and delivery of equality objectives. EDS2 is therefore designed to drive improvements to and accountability of services, ensure workplaces are free from discrimination and reduce inequalities in healthcare provision.
EDS2 has a set of 18 outcomes grouped into four goals, focussing on issues of concern to service users, carers and staff. Performance is analysed and measured against these outcomes. The four goals are:
- Better health outcomes
- Improved patient access and experience
- A representative and supported workforce
- Inclusive leadership
Over the coming weeks and months we will be gathering evidence and engaging with local stakeholders as we progress this major ongoing project.