Equality and diversity is an important aspect of respect in caring for our patients and working with others as part of our role in ensuring the delivery of a high standard of care to patients.
The NHS Constitution pledges employees will be treated fairly, equally and free from discrimination. The NHS Constitution also outlines that staff have a duty not to discriminate against patients or staff and to adhere to equal opportunities and equality and human rights legislation.
The Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act, making the law easier to understand and strengthening protection in some situations. It sets out the different ways in which it’s unlawful to treat someone.
The Public Sector Equality Duty came into force across Great Britain on 5 April 2011. It means that public bodies have to consider all individuals when carrying out their day-to-day work – in shaping policy, in delivering services and in relation to their own employees.
It also requires that public bodies have due regard to the need to:
- eliminate discrimination
- advance equality of opportunity
- foster good relations between different people when carrying out their activities
The purpose of the specific duties regulations 2011 is to ensure that all public bodies play their part in making society fairer by tackling discrimination and providing equality of opportunity for all.
The two specific duties introduced by the Specific Duties Regulations 2011 mean that NHS organisations are required to:
- Publish information to demonstrate compliance at least annually starting from 31 January 2012. They must include information relating to persons who share a relevant protected characteristic who are its employees and other persons affected by its policies and practices. The information published must include information relating to employees who share characteristics and also information relating to people who are affected by the public body’s policies and procedures who share protected characteristics for example service users.
- Prepare and publish equality objectives at least every four years starting from 6 April 2012.
For more information on the Equality Act 2010 please click on the links below:
Trust equality and diversity objectives
In summary the objectives are:
Objective 1 – Information collection for all protected characteristics for patients.
Objective 2 – Increase the trust’s engagement with patients and the public from all protected characteristics.
Objective 3 – Improve the experience of older people using our services.
Objective 4 – Mandatory equality and diversity training for all staff.
Objective 5 – Discrimination, bullying and harassment of staff.
Progress against these objectives is reviewed by the trust’s Equality and Diversity Working Group (Fairness Forum). Further work around equality objectives is planned for 2018 using the EDS2 (Equality Delivery System 2).