Equality and Diversity
We’re committed to creating an inclusive and fair culture in both our service provision and our employment practices.
Our core principles for equality, diversity and inclusion are:
- Challenging unfairness
- Appreciating difference
- Respecting the individual
- Everyone’s business.
We understand that treating everyone in the same way doesn’t always demonstrate equality. Instead, we’re asking our patients and staff what they need to improve access to our services and career opportunites.
The Equality Act 2010 protects all individuals against discrimination in employment and service delivery. There are nine protected characteristics under the Act:
- Gender reassignment
- Religion and belief
- Sexual orientation
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
As a Trust, we’re also bound by the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) to:
- Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation
- Advance equality of opportunity
- Promote good relations between people with protected characteristics
To continue reducing health inequality, we even go further than the PSED and include socio-economic disadvantage into our considerations.
To meet this, we carry out an equality analysis and impact assessment for every one of our policies. You can find the relevant information at the end of our policy documents.
We also report our performance annually and publish our equality objectives.
We have four key priorities for protected characteristics from 2016-2020:
- Sexual orientation
We have set seven challenging strategic objectives, which can be measured, to help us visualise our future as a local health provider. By 2020 we wish to see:
- Increased representation of black and minority ethnic (BME) staff in (Agenda for Change) bands 7 and 8a-d, aiming for 20% representation at each of these grades to reflect the Berkshire population.
- No difference in perceptions of equal opportunity in career progression between white and BME staff (as measured by our annual staff survey).
- A reduction of harassment and bullying as reported in the annual staff survey, in particular by BME staff. We are aiming to reduce experiences of harassment and bullying to the lowest quartile rankings compared with other mental health Trusts in the NHS staff survey index. We also wish to achieve equity in reporting between BME and white staff.
- A significant improvement to the well-being of disabled staff and a reduction in the proportion of staff experiencing stress related illness.
- That we maintain Top 100 Workplace Equality Index Employer status with a ranking in the top five health and social care providers.
- We want to engage with diverse groups in particular BME, LGBT and disabled people to inform our understanding of their needs, ensuring a good patient experience and equity of access in both mental and community health.
- A more robust approach to making reasonable adjustments for disabled people, in particular, implementation of the NHS Accessible Information Standard.
We aim to share responsibility for Equality between our corporate and local teams by creating one corporate priority plan but also by giving each major geographical and functional area its own Equality Improvement plan.
We will continue to use the following frameworks to comply with relevant legislation and NHS England and commissioner requirements:
- The NHS Equality Delivery System (EDS2)
- The NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES)
- The Stonewall Workplace Equality Index (Sexual orientation)
- Accessible Information Standard (Disability)
Our WRES report
In April 2015, NHS England mandated the Workplace Race Equality Standard (WRES) for all large NHS service providers and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s).
The WRES is designed to help us achieve greater diversity in our workforce to match our local communities.
As part of the standard, we're required annually to publish our workforce ethnicity data.