Developing healthcare services which are personal, fair and diverse is at the heart of what we are aspiring to achieve at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.
The Equality Act (2010) has brought together and streamlined many strands of previous equality legislation in England, Scotland and Wales. It also introduces the new “public sector equality duty” (PSED), which is made up of the general equality duty which is supported by specific duties. The Act extends protection to the nine protected characteristic groups: age, disability, gender re-assignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. The general equality duty places a requirement on us to publish information that demonstrates compliance with the duty by 31 January 2012 and annually thereafter. The specific duties require us to publish our equality objectives by the 6 April.
The Public Sector Equality Duty is set out within the Equality Act 2010 and details what public sector bodies need to do in order to comply with:
Aim 1: eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act.
Aim 2: advance equality of opportunity between people who share protected characteristics and those who do not.
Aim 3: foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
The Act also explains that having due regard for advancing equality involves: removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics; taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people; encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low.
The Equality Delivery System (EDS2) is a national framework developed by NHS England to help NHS organisations improve their equality and diversity performance. The trust has embraced the EDS2 and developed an Equality Standard to integrate this in everything we do.
The Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) requires organisations providing an NHS service to demonstrate progress against nine indicators of workforce race equality. The WRES applies to all types of providers of non-primary healthcare services operating under the full length version of the NHS Standard Contract. The WRES seeks to better understand why black and minority ethnic employees often receive much poorer treatment than white employees in the workplace.
As an NHS organisation we are required to produce annual reports and publish the data on our external Trust website. WRES will then produce a data analysis report to enable organisations to compare their performance with others and to provide a national picture of WRES in practice on the developments in the workforce race equality agenda.
The Workforce Disability Equality (WDES) is a set of ten specific measures (metrics) that will enable NHS organisations to compare the experiences of disabled and non-disabled staff. This information will then be used to develop a local action plan, and enable us to demonstrate progress against the indicators of disability equality.
How does equality and diversity relate to my care? The department of health has laid out a clear ambition for the NHS which is to be a health service that is responsive to the needs of and accountable to all members of all communities. A service that delivers high quality care for all, that takes appropriate account of individual differences. A service where 'everyone counts' and where equality is integral to quality. This applies to all healthcare services provided or commissioned by the NHS. It applies to staff as well as patients and we support this ambition.
How does equality and diversity relate to my job? The Trust is committed to employment practices which aim to make sure that all staff feel valued and are treated with dignity and respect in an inclusive environment which acknowledges difference and celebrates diversity.
The following pages demonstrate a range of information that the organisation has published to help demonstrate how we meet the requirements of the general equality duty which is broken down into three aims. We have tried to demonstrate which of the aims, each piece of information relates to and this information is on the front sheets.
Analysis of relevant data and information helps us to continue towards providing healthcare services that are fair to all and ensure an inclusive environment for staff. Furthermore, information gained from involvement events on the diversity agenda and engagement with those who share a protected characteristic, will inform the development of equality objectives for our organisation.