The principles of equality, diversity and inclusion are fundamental to the successful delivery of patient care and these underpin our vision of “best care for everyone”. We're committed to designing and delivering our services around the needs of individual patients and their families.

Along with patients and families, ‘best care for everyone’ also includes our staff and volunteers who deliver a wide range of services. Equality, diversity and inclusion are key enablers for an engaged, productive and safe workforce.

Equality in the NHS

Under the Equality Act 2010, NHS organisations have what is called a ‘general equality duty’. In practice this means that we must:

  • eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by the Equality Act
  • advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
  • foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not share it.

These are underpinned by the Public Sector Equality Duty which requires us to:

  • publish information annually to show our compliance with the equality duty
  • set and publish equality objectives, at least every four years

See the ‘How are we doing?’ section below to access our latest reports which demonstrate the compliance and progress we are making in these areas.

Legally protected characteristics

Everyone has at least five protected characteristics:

  • Race
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Religion and belief/no belief
  • Sexual orientation

In addition, some people have one or more of the following protected characteristics:

  • Disability
  • Pregnancy/maternity
  • Marriage/civil partnership
  • Gender reassignment

We know that involving our diverse and varied communities when designing our services is essential if we are to ensure the right care and support is available, when and where it is needed. We provide care for all sections of the community, regardless of these characteristics.

Everyone who accesses our Trust for treatment, or works/volunteers for us, can expect to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of the protected characteristics which they hold.

We have no tolerance for harassment, bullying or unlawful discrimination towards our patients or staff/volunteers. We are committed to encouraging staff to contribute to a culture which values the unique identity of our patients and one another.

Equality for patients – Disability: reasonable adjustments

Every person with a disability who attends our hospitals, whether as a patient, member of staff or a visitor, should find their experience as positive as that of a non-disabled person. Making changes for disabled people in the built environment, in how we do things, or communicate, is known as making 'reasonable adjustments.'

If you think you may need any kind of adjustment when attending our Trust in person, please contact the ward or department that you are visiting or will be treated in. You may also find it useful to read our Carers section.

To find out how we provide information in different formats and support people with disabilities who have communication needs, view our Accessible Information Standard statement.

If you have any concerns or questions about your access to care, the facilities we provide, or how we are meeting your disability or long term health needs, please contact the PALS team on 0800 019 3282.

Equality for staff and volunteers – Diversity Network

We have a Diversity Network which is open for all staff to join. Our network collaborates with the Trust to eliminate unlawful discrimination experienced by staff. It also provides a signposting and support function where issues can be discussed in a safe and confidential environment. Throughout the year the network celebrates the diversity of our Trust by promoting and participating in local and national events which recognise and champion characteristics which can be more vulnerable to discrimination. Email to become a member, or if you have any questions.

How are we doing?

Below is a list of our latest reports which highlight the progress we are making, and our next steps:

Equality report

  • Equality Report 2017–18
    Published: December 2018. This is published annually to highlight our progress, in line with the Public Sector Equality Duty requirements. It also lists our current Equality Objectives.

You can view Equality reports from previous years in our Reports and Publications section.

Equality of Opportunity action plan

The Action Plan will be delivered by the Trust’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group and progress is monitored by the People & OD Committee, which reports to the Trust Board.

The Equality of Opportunity Action plan for 2019/20 is scheduled to be published by August 2019.

Gender Pay Gap report

  • Gender Pay Gap Report
  • Appendix
    Published: April 2018. Employers with more than 250 staff are required to publish figures relating to pay and gender on an annual basis.

Specific actions relating to our findings are listed in the Equality of Opportunity Action Plan.

The Gender Pay Gap Report for 2018/19 is scheduled to be published in April 2019.

Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES)

Specific actions relating to our findings are listed in the Equality of Opportunity Action Plan.

The WRES report for 2018/19 is scheduled to be published in September 2019.