Inclusion, Equality and Diversity

Our Commitment:

As a Trust we are committed to ensuring we provide an inclusive and respectful working environment and workplace culture for our staff, stakeholders and patients. We will not condone ANY form of discrimination. The examples below do not cover all types of discrimination.

  • Race/ethnicity (the colour of someone’s skin or their ethnic background)
  • Religion
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Prejudice against a person because of their groups sexuality (Biphobia, homophobic and transphobic)
  • Disability (including neurodiversity)

We will actively work to eliminate any form of discrimination, supporting staff and service users to raise and report any concerns they have and addressing issues in a timely manner. We are also committed to educating staff and raising awareness about the value and importance of good Equality, Diversity and Inclusion practice. We’re all in this together; working together to deliver outstanding care inside and out.

In detail:

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust is committed to delivering a health service where Equality and Diversity is embraced by everyone. For Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care Trust promoting equality, inclusion and human rights is integral to our values and delivery of our services.  We are fully committed to providing high quality services to everyone, irrespective of the gender individuals identify as, their ethnicity, those with or without disabilities, ages, sexual orientation, and those with or without caring responsibilities.

We are committed to reducing health inequalities that affect our patients and services users, in and around the Herefordshire and Worcestershire communities, and ensuring that everyone has access to the health care they need, while treating people with respect, dignity and fairness; promoting the health and wellbeing of all those who use our healthcare services, as well as their carers and families.

At Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care we will continue to strive to create an employment environment that is inclusive and supportive for all staff and to promote a health services’ culture in which:

Diversity is valued and respected – an approach that embraces both visible and non-visible differences, where there are fair access and fair outcomes for all.

Differences are recognised and fully utilised in delivering excellent services.

The community works together effectively in an atmosphere of trust, harmony and respect

Discrimination and prejudice are challenged and every individual feels valued.

Both direct and indirect discrimination (associative, perceptive), harassment and victimisation will not be tolerated.

We recognise our responsibility to achieve the highest standards in equality and inclusion, and to be a proactive agent for change. We will continue to take every opportunity to strengthen our approach to equality and diversity in the design, delivery and review of all of our functions, policies and practices.

Equality, Diversity and Human Rights 

This is an important part of our everyday lives, as citizens, employees, service users and providers. 

What is Equality?

Equality is about recognising that each one of us is unique, valuing everyone as an individual, creating a fairer society, where everyone can participate and has the opportunity to fulfil their potential.

Equality is recognising that discrimination is unacceptable regardless of people's gender, race, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, ethnic or national origin, marital status, age, colour, disability, carer status or social background. To treat everybody with equality does actually mean to treat people differently with equity, as we all have very different needs and requirements.

What is Diversity?

Diversity literally means difference. It is about recognising individual as well as group differences and placing positive value on diversity in the workplace. It is not about creating a level playing field and treating everyone equally, it is about treating everyone fairly.

Diversity is the many distinct characteristics that staff, patients, carers and families bring to our organisation. These distinct characteristics bring variations of thinking, communication styles, skills and personalities that are respected and valued.

What are Human Rights?   

Fair treatment is fundamental – unless people are treated with dignity and respect they will not feel valued. 

Respect for human rights of an individual or group is fundamental to ensuring their quality of life. At the core of Human Rights are the principles of FREDA – Fairness, Respect, Equality, Dignity and Autonomy. These principles are fundamental to the NHS and our organisation.  

The economic, social and cultural rights, including the rights to fair employment conditions and health care without discrimination, are relevant to the NHS as both an employer and service provider. 

All Trust employees/volunteers have a personal responsibility to implement and promote Equality, Diversity & Human Rights in our day-to-day contact with service users, with each other and partners. We have a moral duty which is re-enforced by legislation. If we break the law this could result in huge financial costs to the Trust as well as wasting time and resources to do something we should be doing anyway.

Our staff 

In order to achieve growth and success in today’s environment we need to fully engage all the talent, potential and ability of every member of our staff. We need to value the richness that diversity brings, and its positive influence on the services that the Trust provides.

Our patients

We need to ensure that all individuals within our community, from whatever background, have fair and equal access to the services we provide, while respecting their different needs and cultural backgrounds. 

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

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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’.

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.     

Grading
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:

 

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Team

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Team

" As Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead, it is my passion and my purpose to ensure that all workforce members, regardless of their job or grade, experience fairness and equality of opportunity. Guided by equality legislation and a determination to support and enhance Trust employee's experiences and better the patients’ journeys and use of our services. I am inspired by the shared purpose of creating a sense of belonging for all workforce members. I have a genuine belief that there is an intrinsic link between staff experience is positive the care delivered will be positively impacted and service and patient experience.

We should celebrate and share our differences amongst staff, patients and service users.

In the wider society, I feel there is a need to understand how peoples circumstances may affect their ability to access our services. Working with my colleagues I will endeavor to reduce the health inequalities experienced and work towards a holistic inclusive environment for all.

I am here to help and guide should you have any issues or questions; I welcome all enquiries and suggestions relating to EDI. Please contact me on.samantha.boatema-cooke1@nhs.net or  whcnhs.webelong@nhs.net or visit Or visit: intranet.hwhct.nhs.uk/inclusion

Samantha Boatema-Cooke

Networks

Our Staff Networks have been developed to provide a safe space for colleagues sharing particular circumstances or characteristics to connect with others, share experiences and challenge organisational practices to create a more inclusive working environment

All of our Staff Network chairs meet on a Bi - monthly basis. The meetings are run by the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team and provide opportunities for all network chairs to collaborate and be involved in Inclusion events.

BAME 
DisAbility
Armed Forces
LGBTQ+
Carers

Coming soon Mental health network

On a quarterly basis the network chairs and nominated members of staff from different departments meet quarterly as the Voice of Inclusion Committee. The agenda of the committee is to share and be involved in wider trust activities including policy consultation and Diversity education.

The Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Staff Network consists of multi-disciplinary professionals whose primary aim is to work with the Trust at all levels, to provide an effective and autonomous voice for BAME staff and communities, through inclusion, diversity and equality.

The core objectives of the BAME Staff Network are:

To provide a safe, supportive and open environment to discuss issues related to inequality and discrimination, in areas such as staff experiences, recruitment, retention and development

“With our lived experience we endeavor to use evidence (such WRES - Workforce Race Equality Standards Report) as well as analysis to provide important advice and influence on existing systemic challenges affecting BAME staff in the organisation.” BAME Staff Network.

Our Staff DisAbility Network aims to achieve change throughout the organisation. Working alongside the Trust’s Board, the Network believe they can be the driving force to bring about change. They are open to all members of staff who have a disability or long-term condition (either declared or undeclared). The Disability Staff Network believe that everyone should have the right to be treated fairly, with dignity and respect.

Their aim is to provide a friendly, comfortable and fully inclusive environment without fear of discrimination, to share experiences and provide mutual support, discuss issues and adopt a problem-solving approach.

The Carers Staff network has been set up to provide a forum for staff who are carers or staff who want to understand and support their carer colleagues.

The aim of the network is to ensure advice and support to staff who have caring responsibilities is provided by the organisation and is available to managers to support staff in the workplace with the challenges of balancing the demands of work with caring.

The network work closely with carer organisations in Herefordshire and Worcestershire to ensure we have the most up to date information to share with staff.

Any member of staff is welcome to join the network, whether a carer or someone who wants to understand and support their carer colleagues.

The LGBT+ Staff Network is a made of multi-disciplinary professionals whose aim is to work with the Trust at all levels, to provide an effective and autonomous voice for the LGBT+ community.

The Armed Forces Network was created in recognition of the challenges faced by people who serve or have served in the armed forces, and are now working in an alternative, civilian workplace and the struggles for those who are family members of those who are or have served. The Trust will work collaboratively with the network on any matters relating to the Armed Forces Covenant and anything armed forces related.

The Chaplaincy Team consists of ordained, licensed and authorised lay ministers, an ordained interfaith minister and a non-religious provider, providing religious, spiritual and pastoral support. Throughout all of our community hospitals and mental health inpatient units. All are volunteers, led by the Trust employed Chaplain, Andy Green.

The team is available to offer help and support in many different ways. It does not have to involve religious issues and it does not have to involve work issues. Support is offered wherever or whenever you need it regardless of faith or no

Service Users, Patient and Community Involvement

At Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and care we belief that the to improve our services and educate our we need to involve the community we serve.

Equalities Advisory group

The Equality Advisory Group is a group of people who can identify with or who have experience of, one or more of the nine protected characteristics and/or other groups who could experience inequality. 

These include; age, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, disability, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief. Along with representation from other groups including carers, the homeless, travelling communities and rural communities.

The aim of the group is to help identify impacts and explore mitigations around Trust policies and services where groups of people could experience inequality. 

For more information visit the Equality Advisory Group website page

 

Other ways to get involved

There are a number of ways in which you can get involved. Whether you'd like to give up some of your time and become a volunteer, to help recruit the right people for the right jobs, or just leave us some feedback there are lots of ways for you to take part. With your help we can improve our services and ensure the needs of everyone in the community are met.  

Whatever level of expertise and knowledge you have, or how much time you can spare, your contribution will be invaluable.  

Visit the Get Involved website for more information. 

You can also email whcnhs.communityengagement@nhs.net to speak to a member of the team (service hours Monday-Friday 9-5pm).