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.

Reports on our progress and future plans

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 Delivery System Summary Report (EDS2)

EDS2 Summary Report

Published May 2019. This document summarises the assessments we have made - in collaboration with staff, patients and other stakeholders - regarding our performance for people with characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010. This report includes our new Equality Objectives that we will focus on throughout 2019-2023 to improve the experience of patients and staff. These objectives will be delivered through our annual Action Plan (see below).

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 2018/19
    Published: April 2019. Employers with more than 250 staff are required to publish figures relating to pay and gender on an annual basis.

The Gender Pay Gap Report for 2019/20 is scheduled to be published in April 2020.

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.

We're proud to be veteran aware

We are officially a Veteran Aware Hospitals Trust and we are working hard to improve NHS care for veterans, reservists, members of the armed forces and their families.

We have committed to the following key pledges:

  • To ensure that the armed forces community is never disadvantaged compared to other patients, in line with the NHS’s commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant
  • To train relevant staff on veteran-specific culture or needs
  • To ensure veterans, reservists and service families are aware of appropriate charities or NHS services beneficial to them, such as mental health services or support with financial and/or benefit claims;
  • To support the armed forces as an employer.

Veteran Aware posters are being displayed in public waiting areas and we are urging anyone who has served in the armed forces to make themselves known to our staff. We are keen to identify all of our reservists who currently are employed in our hospitals, so if you serve with the reserves please contact Natalie to let us know.

Our Armed Forces Champions

We currently have fifteen Armed Forces Champions at our Trust in both clinical and non-clinical areas. Champions are volunteers who are employed by our organisation but have volunteered to visit our Veteran patients. We also have developed relationships with Imjin Barracks as well as SSAFA, RAFA, Combat Stress, Royal British Legion and other military charities and organisations. If you believe you can make a difference for our patients and would like to volunteer to become an Armed Forces Champion please contact Natalie.

What we need you to do!

To enable us to be able to support veteran and serving patients, we need to ensure they are identified on admission.

Please ask your patients: “Are you, or have you ever served in the UK Armed Forces?”. If the answer is ‘yes’ then a ‘War Veteran’ Alert will need to be applied on TRAK. If you require assistance to do this, please contact the Armed Forces Champions

Further information

Find out more about being Veteran Aware on our website

Alternatively contact our Operational Lead for the Armed Forces and Quality Improvement & Project Nurse

Or our Executive Lead for the Armed Forces, Director of Quality & Chief Nurse

BEST CARE FOR EVERYONE