Equality and Diversity
Our Trust is committed to delivering fully inclusive 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.
Accessible Information Standard
The Accessible Information Standard was introduced in 2016. It ensures that service users and carers can receive information in a format that is accessible and able to be understood. If you need information in large print, braille, Easy Read, in another language or need other support, such as an interpreter, please let us know. You should also be asked if you have a preferred format for information when you first have contact with us. We will record your communication preferences and then share this information, with your consent, with other health and social care professionals.
If you have any questions about this, either speak to one of our staff or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Equality Act 2010
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
Gender Pay Gap
Gender Pay Gap legislation requires the Trust to publish annually a series of calculations that highlight the Gender Pay Gap across the workforce.
- This Gender Pay Gap Report was discussed and approved by our Trust Board on in March 2020.
- Here is a simplified version of the 2gether report.
The Human Rights Act 1998
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.
Trust Statement on Modern Slavery
We fully support the government’s objectives to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking.
Modern slavery is the recruitment, movement, harbouring or receiving of children, women or men through the use of force, coercion, abuse of vulnerability, deception or other means for the purpose of exploitation. Individuals may be trafficked into, out of or within the UK, and they may be trafficked for a number of reasons including sexual exploitation, forced labour, domestic servitude and organ harvesting.
The Trust (GHCNHSFT) fully supports the Government’s objectives to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking and recognises the significant role the NHS has to play. We are strongly committed to ensuring our supply chains and operational activities are free from ethical and labour standards abuses.
Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement for Financial Year 2020/21
During the last financial year, the Trust took, and continues to take, the following steps to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place:
- We confirm the identities of all new employees and their right to work in the United Kingdom
- All staff are appointed subject to references, health checks, immigration checks and identity checks. This ensures that we can be confident, before staff commence duties, that they have a legal right to work within our Trust
- We have a set of values and behaviours that staff are expected to comply with, and all candidates are expected to demonstrate these attributes as part of the selection process
- By adopting the national pay, terms and conditions of service, we have the assurance that all staff will be treated fairly and will comply with the latest legislation. This includes the assurance that staff received, at least, the national minimum wage from 1 April 2015
- We have various employment policies and procedures in place designed to provide guidance and advice to staff and managers but also to comply with employment legislation
- Our equality and diversity, grievance, respect and dignity at work for staff policies additionally give a platform for our employees to raise concerns about poor working practices
- Our policies and practices promote and support diversity and inclusion both as an employer and service provider; we recognise and acknowledge that diversity and inclusion are key corporate social responsibilities and a Diversity Network for all staff has been in place since our Trust inception in October 2019.
- Our mandatory safeguarding training includes modern slavery as a topic; all clinical staff receive training as part of our Trust bespoke level 2 safeguarding adult e-learning training and also level 3 safeguarding adult training
- Our Trust “Safeguarding Adult at Risk Policy”, and the countywide multi-agency safeguarding policy, to which our Trust is a partner signatory, also includes modern slavery and we have produced communications materials to raise awareness amongst staff and anyone working on or otherwise attending our sites
- Our Freedom to Speak: Raising Concerns (Whistleblowing) Policy gives a platform for employees to raise concerns for further investigation, and our Freedom To Speak Up Guardian and Safeguarding teams actively ensure they are accessible to staff
- The Procurement Team work on the principle of zero tolerance of modern slavery in our supply chain. Our standard terms and conditions require suppliers to comply with relevant legislation and tender evaluations include Social Economic factors. A large proportion of the goods and services procured are sourced through Government supply frameworks and contracts also require suppliers to comply with relevant legislation
- We continue to work with our suppliers directly and via partners, such as NHS Supply Chain, to support initiatives related to modern slavery.
Review of Effectiveness
The Trust will continue to take further steps to identify, assess and monitor potential risk areas in terms of modern slavery and human trafficking, particularly within supply chains. We aim to:
- Raise awareness and support our staff to understand and respond to modern slavery and human trafficking, and the impact that each and every individual working at our Trust can have in keeping present and potential future victims of modern slavery and human trafficking safe
- Ensure that all staff continue to have access to training on modern slavery and human trafficking which will provide the latest information and the skills to deal with it
- Embed Social Value best practice into commercial processes which will achieve improved Social Value awareness and compliance across all our commercial activities
- Impact assess all new or reviewed policies for diversity and inclusion compliance
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ended 31 March 2021.
Workforce Race Equality Standard
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
Workforce Disability Equality Standard
The Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) is a set of ten specific measures (metrics) which enables NHS organisations to compare the workplace and career experiences of Disabled and non-disabled staff. NHS trusts use the metrics data to develop and publish an action plan. Year on year comparison enables trusts to demonstrate progress against the indicators of disability equality.
Our Workforce Disability Equality Standard Annual Report
Our Trust approach to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust works across the county, with over 140 sites spread across Gloucestershire and employing just over 5000 employees. We offer services to people who need support and treatment for a wide range of physical, mental health and learning disabilities in both hospital and community settings.
The majority of our services are provided in, or close to people’s place of residence and we aim to ensure that the need for people to stay in hospital is kept to a minimum. We offer services across the whole of Gloucestershire from a number of health centres, our seven community hospitals and our two specialist mental health hospitals. Many of our services are delivered in partnership with primary care, social care and the voluntary sector.
As an employer, we strive to be inclusive, with fair and equitable policies for all employees regardless of race, nationality, age, disability, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity, marital status, religion, pregnancy and maternity. This is not only because it is required under the Equality Act but because it is in keeping with our Trust values.
One of our four strategic aims is to be: “a great place to work”.
Being a great place to work means ensuring we focus on the health and well-being of colleagues and that we treat everyone equally; celebrating diversity by ensuring real inclusivity. We will make sure colleagues are heard, valued and influential in the organisation.
To fulfil this aim, we are striving to support, recruit & retain a diverse workforce at all levels, with supportive, compassionate, inclusive and effective leaders.
This includes ensuring that:
- all colleagues have a voice, feel equally valued and supported
- all colleagues achieve their potential by removing barriers to development
- the Board & leaders to manage and lead better, informed by lived experience
- we deliver on our WDES (and our other Diversity) action plans
We are committed to providing personal, fair and diverse services to our staff and to the communities that we serve. We are also committed to providing personal, fair and diverse services to carers, and will be included actions relating to carers as we develop our Action Plans.
What do we mean when we talk about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion?
- Equality is about fairness where everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their potential and where people are treated fairly regardless of their characteristics.
- Diversity is about recognising and valuing difference in its broadest sense, where people are treated and valued as individuals, recognising that each person’s own characteristics bring a unique contribution to the organisation.
- Inclusion is about ensuring that employees feel valued, welcome, integrated into and included in the workforce instead of being isolated as a result of their individual or and group differences.