At the core of our values, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust is committed to equality, diversity, inclusion and human rights. We will take every opportunity to strengthen our approach to equality and diversity in delivering best patient care and the employment of our staff.

We are committed to reducing the health inequalities that affect our local communities and ensuring that everyone has access to the health care they need, while treating people with respect, dignity and fairness.

We seek to create an environment that is inclusive and supportive for staff and service users, to promote a health services’ culture in Herefordshire and Worcestershire in which:

  • Diversity is valued and respected – an approach that embraces both visible and non-visible difference
  • The community works together effectively in an atmosphere of trust, harmony and respect
  • Discrimination and prejudice are challenged
  • Direct and indirect discrimination (associative, perceptive), harassment and victimisation are not be tolerated

More information can be found in Inclusion Diversity and Equality Strategy 2018-2022.

Inclusion, Equality and Diversity

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Accessible Information Standard

The Accessible Information Standard (AIS)

The Accessible Information Standard (AIS) was introduced by the government in 2016 to make sure that people with a disability or sensory loss are given information in a way they can understand.

It applies to all organisations that provide NHS or adult social care (this includes: NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts, GP practices, as well as organisations that commission (pay for and make decisions about) NHS and adult social care services). 

The Standard states how we should ensure that patients/service users including, carers and parents with a disability, impairment or sensory loss disability receive:

  • information in formats that they can understand (e.g. easy read*, braille**)

  • appropriate support to help them to communicate  for example a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter, deafblind manual interpreter or an advocate.

What’s the aim?

The aim is to ensure that people with a disability, impairment or sensory loss are not put 'at a disadvantage, in comparison with persons who are not disabled'. To enable individuals to:

  • make decisions about their health and wellbeing, and about their care and treatment;

  • self-manage conditions;

  • access services appropriately and independently; and

  • make choices about treatments and procedures including the provision or withholding of consent

This should lead to improved outcomes and experiences, and safer, better services.

The Accessible Information Standard states five things we must do:

  1. Ask people if they have any information or communication needs, and find out how to meet their needs.

  2. Record those needs clearly and in a set way.

  3. Highlight or flag the person’s file or notes so it is clear that they have information or communication needs and how to meet those needs.

  4. Share information about people’s information and communication needs with other providers of NHS and adult social care, when they have consent or permission to do so.

  5. Take steps to ensure that people receive information which they can access and understand, and receive communication support if they need it.        

The scope of the Standard includes accommodation of an individual’s need or requirement for a longer appointment. In particular, any appointment requiring support from an interpreter will almost invariably take longer – because of the ‘three way’ nature of the conversation.

If you have a disability, impairment or sensory loss that means we need to communicate with you in a way that is helpful to you, please let us know. We will be asking patients, service users, carers and parents this question and will assess how best to communicate and what format works best for you.

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust are complying with the standards, progress update can be accessed via the below link:

* Easy Read – pictures, diagrams, symbols and/or photographs are used to illustrate simple words and phrases. Examples of Easy Read Documents: rights about personal information and consent to share Information

**Braille - format used by people who are blind, deafblind or who have some visual loss. Readers use their fingers to ‘read’ or identify raised dots representing letters and numbers.

Interpreting and Translation – Annual Data

Interpreting services are contracted with:

  • Capita, the Trust’s primary provider
  • Deaf Direct who provide interpreting services for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • We also work with SpeakEasy NOW who occasionally provide easy read translation.

Capita: Provide services through a framework agreement with Health Trust Europe framework which commenced on 1st October 2016.  This can be accessed here (opens in new window)

Deaf Direct: Following a Local Tendering Process (defined within the Trusts’ Standing Orders and Standing Financial Instructions, which sets out both the organisational duty to tender, and the requirement to comply with EU and UK law on competitive public procurement, as defined within the EU Public Procurement Regulations), the Trust entered into a contract agreement on the 1st December 2017 for a period of 3 years (2020) with an option to extend for a further 12 month period.

The Trust believes that disclosing the number of bookings in conjunction with the amount spent for the specified periods would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of the Trust. The amount spent and the number of transactions could compromise any future tenders/frameworks regarding Interpreting and Translation Services, giving an unfair advantage to competitors and possibly not ensuring the best value and quality for the Trust.  In any event the Trust provides the total costs per language but not the bookings.

The Director of Nursing and Quality is accountable for interpreting and translation. The job role of the designated person is ‘Organisational Development & Inclusion Practitioner’.

Click here to view the annual breakdown for interpretation (spoken language) and translation (written language) usage for the past financial year and previous years, for each of the languages provided.

Please be aware that although this information is accurate at the time it is provided, it may not be in the future and should not be relied upon.


Equality Delivery System

The Equality Delivery System (EDS) has been designed by the NHS for the NHS, to improve equality performance and deliver better outcomes for patients, communities and staff which are personal, fair and diverse.

The EDS complies with the Public Sector Equality Duty and applies to people afforded by the Equality Act 2010, from unfavorable treatment because of specific protected characteristics (age, disability, gender-re-assignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race including national identify and ethnicity, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation). The EDS may also apply to those not protected by the Equality Act 2010 but who face disadvantages when accessing or using services, such as homeless people.

What it Delivers
EDS helps the NHS meet the registration requirements of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) Essential Standards and deliver on:

  • Equality aspects of the NHS Outcomes Framework
  • Equality aspects of the NHS Constitution
  • Equality aspects of the Human Resources Transition Framework
  • Addressing health inequalities in general, improving outcomes and reducing gaps.

What Are We Required To Do
Central to the EDS, organisations are required to analyse their equality performance against 18 outcomes grouped under four goals:

  • Better health outcomes for all
  • Improved patient access and experience
  • Empowered, engaged and inclusive staff
  • Inclusive leadership

The EDS requires NHS organisations to engagement with a wide range of stakeholders from across protected groups, patient groups, community organisations, the voluntary and statutory sectors and other interested groups to grade our performance, set equality objective and develop an action plan.     

For each EDS outcome, there are four grades, and a Red, Amber, Green and Purple (RAG 'plus') rating is applied:

RAG Grading Image

Please see the attached grading overview: